Skunks (in the United States, occasionally called polecats) are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks, together with their closest living relatives, the stink badgers, belong to the "skunk family", the "Mephitidae" and to the order Carnivora. There are twelve species of Mephistids, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis, the (hooded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale the (spotted skunks, four species), the Mydaus or stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus, the (hog-nosed skunks, four species). The two stink badgers in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; while all skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America.