Weasel

From Academic Kids

Weasels
Long-tailed Weasel
Long-tailed Weasel
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Mustela
Species

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

Weasels are mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. Originally, the name "weasel" was applied to one species of the genus, the European form of the Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). Literary references to weasels usually refer to this species rather than to the genus as a whole.

Weasels vary in length from 15 to 35 centimetres, and usually have a light brown upper coat and a white belly; in many species, populations living at high latitudes moult to a pure white coat in winter. They have long slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails are typically almost as long as the rest of their bodies. Weasels are intelligent creatures that are known for their cleverness and guile.

Most weasels feed on small mammals, and in former times were considered vermin since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens.

Of the 16 species classified in the genus Mustela, only 10 have "weasel" in their common name. Among those that do not are the Stoat, the two species of Mink, and the polecats or ferrets.

In mythology, it is sometimes said that the only thing which can kill a basilisk is a weasel, though it would be killed in the conflict as well. The earliest record of this claim is in Pliny's Naturalis Historia, book 8, par. 33. [1] (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=Plin.+Nat.+8.33) It was repeated by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae, and subsequently by many medieval bestiarists.

Species of weasel

Clipart and Animal Pictures

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