The Weasels

What is a Weasel?

  • long (12 to 45 cm), slender, flexible body
  • short legs
  • active predators

American Mink

  • highly aquatic
  • males can be up to 60cm long; female up to 20
  • 2.07kg ( 4.7lbs) for males; 0.89kg (2lbs) for females
  • outer fur or guard fur = dark brown, almost black in colour; under side is lighter
  • under fur keeps them warm and dry while swimming
    • valuable fur; fur trade
  • great hunters
    • meadow voles, muskrat, fish, crayfish, frogs, salamanders and insects
  • spend time along shoreline
  • preyed on by coyotes, red foxes and great horned owls
  • have 5 kits per litter
  • introduced to Russia and other European countries for the fur trade

Ermine or Short-tailed Weasel

  • up to 30cm in length
  • tail has a black tip
  • great predators; take on prey much larger than them
  • brown with yellowish to white belly
  • "ermine" or pure white with black tip on tail in winter