One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A black and white carnivorous mammal that resembles a skunk, inhabiting arid regions of southern Africa.
Ictonyx striatus, family MustelidaeAlso called striped polecat
- ‘The zorilla is a nocturnal predator that inhabits scrub, forest and grassland in southern and eastern Africa.’
- ‘Many zorilla families have been kept together in captivity, where mutual grooming appears common.’
- ‘Their smell is so strong, most larger animals avoid them, and about the only time zorillas aren't alone is during mating season.’
- ‘Very little is known about the social life of wild zorillas, and they appear to be mainly solitary.’
- ‘With its long claws, the zorilla digs feverishly after the prize, alternately sinking its nose into the ground until it comes up munching.’
Late 18th century: via French from Spanish zorrilla, diminutive of zorro ‘fox’.
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