Their disgusting odor is known to most people in the Americas.
Visitors from other continents will be surprised at how bad a skunk can smell. The 'scent' is produced by anal glands and is sprayed at predators (unsurprisingly skunks tend to get left alone). There are three species in Costa Rica: The striped hog-nosed skunk (zorro hediondo; Conepatus semistratus), the spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), and the hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura). Despite their smell they look attractive.
The hog-nosed is black with a broad white stripe along its back and a bushy white tail. It is 50 to 75cm in length and widespread throughout Costa Rica. The smaller and less common spotted skunk is black with white blotches. The hooded are the least common. All are terrestrial.