Weasels are furry mammals that are excellent hunters. There
are about 10 different species of weasels that live in forests,
meadows, and grasslands. They can be found in North America, northern
South America, Europe, Asia, and the extreme north of Africa. Weasels
live about 10 years in captivity.
Anatomy: Weasels have very short legs, a long snout, and a long,
slender body. Some weasels have long tails, others have short tails.
They range from 5 to 16 inches (13-41 cm) long, plus a tail up to
7 inches (18 cm) long. Males are about twice the size of females.
Fur: Weasels have brown to yellow-brown fur with paler fur on
the belly. The tip of the tail is often black. Many weasels grow
white fur in the winter, but the tip of the tail remains black.
When an animal chases the weasel, it will often chase the black
tail tip and miss catching the weasel.
Diet: Weasels are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat small mammals
(like mice, squirrels, rabbits, and hares), birds, insects, carrion
(dead meat that they find), and berries.
Predators: Weasels are preyed upon by owls and hawks.
Classification: kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia
(mammals), Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae (weasels, ferrets,
minks, otters, badgers), Genus Mustela.