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Weasel
Least Weasel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: Mustela
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

Mustela africana
Mustela altaica
Mustela erminea
Mustela eversmannii
Mustela felipei
Mustela frenata
Mustela itatsi
Mustela kathiah
Mustela lutreola
Mustela lutreolina
Mustela nigripes
Mustela nivalis
Mustela nudipes
Mustela putorius
Mustela sibirica
Mustela strigidorsa
Mustela subpalmata

Weasels are mammals of the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. They are small, active predators, long and slender with short legs.

The English word "weasel" (pronounced /ˈwiːzəl/) was originally applied to one species of the genus, the European form of the Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). This usage is retained in British English, where the name is also extended to cover several other small species of the genus. However, in technical discourse and in American usage the term "weasel" can refer to any member of the genus, or to the genus as a whole. Of the 17 extant species currently classified in the genus Mustela, ten have "weasel" in their common name. Among those that do not are the stoat or ermine, the polecats or ferrets, and the European Mink (the superficially similar American Mink is now regarded as belonging in another genus, Neovison).

Weasels vary in length from 12 to 45 centimetres (5 to 18 in), and usually have a red or brown upper coat and a white belly; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 22 to 33 centimetres (9 to 13 in) long. As is typical of small carnivores, weasels have a reputation for cleverness and guile.

Weasels feed on small mammals, and have from time to time been considered vermin since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens. Certain species of weasel and ferrets have been reported to perform the mesmerizing weasel war dance, after fighting other creatures, or acquiring food from competing creatures. In folklore at least, this dance is particularly associated with the stoat[citation needed] .

Collective nouns for a group of weasels include boogle, gang, pack, and confusion.[1]

Weasels occur all across the world except for Antarctica, Australia, and neighbouring islands.

Species

The following information is according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.

Mustela africana Desmarest, 1800 Tropical weasel South America
Mustela altaica Pallas, 1811 Mountain weasel Europe & Northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758 Stoat
Ermine
Short-tailed weasel
Europe & Northern Asia
North America
Southern Asia (non-native)
New Zealand (non-native)
Mustela eversmannii Lesson, 1827 Steppe polecat Europe & Northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela felipei Izor and de la Torre, 1978 Colombian weasel South America
Mustela frenata Lichtenstein, 1831 Long-tailed weasel Middle America
North America
South America
Mustela itatsi Temminck, 1844 Japanese weasel Japan & Sakhalin Is. (Russia)
Mustela kathiah Hodgson, 1835 Yellow-bellied weasel Southern Asia
Mustela lutreola (Linnaeus, 1761) European mink Europe & Northern Asia
Mustela lutreolina Robinson and Thomas, 1917 Indonesian mountain weasel Southern Asia
Mustela nigripes (Audubon and Bachman, 1851) Black-footed ferret North America
Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766 Least weasel Europe & Northern Asia
North America
Southern Asia (non-native)
New Zealand (non-native)
Mustela nudipes Desmarest, 1822 Malayan weasel Southern Asia
Mustela putorius Linnaeus, 1758 European Polecat
Domesticated Ferret (ssp. furo)
Europe & Northern Asia
New Zealand (ssp. furo) (non-native)
Mustela sibirica Pallas, 1773 Siberian weasel Europe & Northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela strigidorsa Gray, 1855 Back-striped weasel Southern Asia
Mustela subpalmata Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833 Egyptian weasel Egypt

1 Europe & Northern Asia division excludes China.

The extinct "Sea mink" was commonly included in this genus as Mustela macrodon, but in 1999 was moved to the genus Neovison. [2]

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Bertrand, John. A Gulp of Cormorants???. The Bosque Watch. Volume 14, Number 2, April 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
  2. ^ IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WEASEL (Putorius nivalis), the smallest European species of the group of mammals of which the polecat and stoat are well-known members (see CARNIVORA). The weasel is an elegant little animal, with elongated slender body, back much arched, head small and flattened, ears short and rounded, neck long and flexible, limbs short, five toes on each foot, all with sharp, com - pressed, curved claws, tail rather short, slender, cylindrical, and pointed at the tip, and fur short and close. The upper-parts, out - side of limbs and tail, are uniform reddish brown, the under-parts white. In cold regions the weasel turns white in winter, but less regularly and only at a lower temperature than the stoat or ermine, from which it is distinguished by its smaller size and the absence of the black tail-tip. The length of the head and. body of the male is usually about 8 in., that of the tail 21 in.; the female is smaller. The weasel is generally distributed through - out Europe and Northern and Central Asia; and is represented by a closely allied animal in North America. It possesses all the active, courageous and bloodthirsty disposition of the rest of the genus, but its diminutive size prevents it attacking and destroying any but the smaller mammals and birds. Mice, rats, water-rats and moles, as well as frogs, constitute its principal food. It is generally found on or near the surface of the ground, but it can not only pursue its prey through holes and crevices of rocks and under dense tangled herbage, but follow it up the stems and branches of trees, or even into the water, swimming with perfect ease. It constructs a nest of dried leaves and _herbage, placed in a hole in the ground or a bank or hollow tree, The Weasel (Putorius nivalis). in which it brings up its litter of four to six (usually five) young ones. The mother will defend her young with the utmost desperation against any assailant, and ha s p been known to sacrifice her own life rather than desert them. (R. L.*)


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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Heb. holedh), enumerated among unclean animals (Lev 11:29). Some think that this Hebrew word rather denotes the mole (Spalax typhlus) common in Palestine. There is no sufficient reason, however, to depart from the usual translation. The weasel tribe are common also in Palestine.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Weasels
File:Mustela
North American Long-tailed Weasel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: Mustela
Linnaeus, 1758

A weasel is a meat-eating mammal. It is a part of the genus Mustela. At one time only one of the sixteen species of Mustela was called "weasel". This was the European Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). Today, the term weasel is often used for all species of the group. Ten of the sixteen species have the word "weasel" in their common name. Those that are not called weasel include the stoat, the two species of mink, and the polecats or ferrets. A group of weasels is called a pack, gang, confusion, or boogle.

Weasels length is from 12 to 45 centimetres (5 to 18 in), and usually have a red or brown upper coat and a white belly.They have long slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 22 to 33 centimetres (9 to 13 in) long.Weasels are famous for cleverness and guile.








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