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Weasels are highly active vertebrate predators of the family: Mustelidae; subfamily: Mustelinae; genus: Musteland; and are found in most parts of the world, with the exception of Antarctica, Australia and the neighbouring islands. The smallest mustelids are called Weasels. The most common Weasels are the Least Weasel, the Long-Tailed Weasel and the Short-Tailed Weasel. Some other mustelids are the Mink, Otter, Badger, Ferrets and Skunk.

Weasels use many different forms of communication. One of the major ways they communicate with one another is through an elaborate language that is made up of a variety of vocalizations. They may screech and squeal, utter a rapid trill and purr when content. During the mating season, females give a twittering call. Vocalizations are also made when the animals feel threatened.

Weasels use musk to mark the borders of their hunting area or territory. This is a chemical form of communication. Musk is a thick, oily yellowish fluid with a very potent odour. It is stored in special scent glands stored at the base of the Weasel’s tail. The scent is a secret message for other Weasels. A Weasel may drag its rump on the ground, probably to leave a scent, which informs other Weasels of who lives there, how long ago they last visited that spot and whether they are male or female. Females also use musk to attract their mate. Should another Weasel of the same sex wander inside the boundaries, the musk warns the intruder that it is trespassing and is not welcome.

Body language and sounds are also used to communicate when Weasels meet each other. Weasels have well-developed senses of sight, hearing and smell. These senses allow them to be capable predators. Long-tailed Weasels communicate among themselves with visual, sound and scent cues. Females emit an attractive scent when they are ready to mate.

Tactile (physical) communication occurs between rival males, between mates and between a mother and her offspring.

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Weasels are long and skinny and their bodies are very flexible. Some people think they look like a furry snake when they move. The smallest Weasels are only around 15–20cm(6–8ins) long and the biggest Weasels are 30–45cm(12–18ins) long including their tail.

A great defence mechanism found in Weasels is that they can change their coat colour, particularly with a change in season. As soon as winter approaches, their brownish summer coat often turns into a fade-white shade. They also have a double fur coat. A Weasel with white fur is called an Ermine.

Weasels are very active and are always moving and hunting. Because they are so active, their heartbeat and breathing rates are very fast. A Weasel’s heart beats 300–400 times per minute, which makes their body temperatures very warm. Some smaller Weasels have a body temperature of around 40°C (104°F).

Weasels are near–sighted meaning that they can see things that are close to them much better than they can see things that are far away. Weasels mainly use their sense of smell to get on the trail of their prey but they also use their eyesight.

The Weasel can live in a lot of different habitats like forests, farmlands, meadows and prairies. They are even well-adapted for living in the tundra. Weasels don’t usually live in deep forests, sandy deserts or open spaces. Most people will never see a Weasel because they are mostly active at night and they try to stay out of sight.

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Weasels make their dens in abandoned burrows of other mammals, often chipmunks, ground squirrels, moles or pocket gophers. Weasels line the inside of their den with feathers, grass, leaves, fur from their prey and sometimes their own fur.

The Weasel is the most widespread carnivore (meat eater) in the western hemisphere and though small in size are strong fighters and can move in a flash. Weasels are not scavengers; they will not eat meat that they find (unless very hungry) but prefer to eat animals that they kill themselves. They are regarded as great predators. They approach the prey as silent hunters, without making a single sound. Then when near enough, they pounce on it usually killing their prey by biting in the neck. They also drink the blood of their victim.

Although Weasels are predators, certain varieties of Badgers, Foxes and birds of prey (e.g. Eagles, Falcons) are regarded as their sworn enemies.

Weasels spend most of their time hunting and can kill animals much bigger than they are. They scurry around trying to trying to find there preferred food mice or voles to eat but they also eat rabbits, chipmunks, shrews, rats, birds and the occasional insect or earthworm. Once they smell them, the Weasel does not give up and follows the trail often right into the animal’s burrow or den. Weasels eat half their body weight every day. Most Weasels are nocturnal (night dwellers) but sometimes they hunt during the day.

Weasels have to eat a lot because they are very active. Sometimes they kill more than they can eat, so they will bury or store the extra food. They mark their food with their musk, making the food smell bad so that other animals won’t eat it.

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The lifespan of wild Weasels is not well known, as many die before reaching one year old. If a wild Weasel reaches adulthood, it may live for several more years.

Mothers usually have 4–8 babies that are very small and weigh 2.8gms (0.1oz) or less. Weasels are unusual because the babies spend 8–10 months in the mother before they are born and they only grow during the last month. Baby Weasels start to eat meat when they are about one month old and they leave their mother after 2–3 months. They are fully grown after 3–4 months.

Ermine were once hunted for their fur to make coats.

Weasels are poisonous and in case they bite you, it becomes vital to take an antidote within 24 hours; else, the consequences could well be fatal. The antidote for treating Weasel bites is secreted only by Monkeys.

Long-tailed Weasels are quick, agile and good climbers and swimmers.

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Weasels often stand on their hind legs to look for signs of food or danger. The Weasel’s whiskers brush against its surrounding to help the Weasel navigate in the dark.

Weasels are usually timid creatures and will normally run from humans.

Weasels have close relatives that like to live and hunt in trees. These relatives are the Marten and the Fisher. They look a lot like Weasels but are bigger.

Some people claim that Weasel musk is stronger than Skunk scent.

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Weasels run by a series of bounds, with their backs humped at each bound and their tails trailing backward.

Since ancient times, the fur of Weasels has been used for making parkas and other winter jackets. In fact, in western societies, the use of this fur was considered to be a badge of royalty, especially Ermine.

To stabilize and maintain the number of Weasels worldwide, restrictions have been imposed on the trading of their fur.

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Because there are so many Big & XL animations I’m going to break
them into 02 pages to help in a faster download.
For available Big versions: Click Here for  Weasels 01;  Weasels 02.
For available XL versions: Click Here for  Weasels 01;  Weasels 02.

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