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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 American Mink (Mustela vison)




American Mink | Mustela vison photo
American Mink running for cover in Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Photograph by Ted Goldring. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

AMERICAN MINK FACTS

Description
The American Mink has dark brown fur with white patches on the chin, chest, and throat. The body is long and slender with short legs and a pointed short face. The Mink is semi-aquatic and has partially webbed feet to assist it in the water. The fur is soft and thick, making it attractive to the fur trade.

Size
Total length: males 58cm - 70cm; females 46cm - 57cm. Tail length: about 25cm - 35cm. Weight: males 0.9kg - 1.6kg; females 0.7kg - 1.1kg.

Environment
forested areas close to streams, ponds, and lakes are preferred habitat

Food
Mainly small mammals such as shrews, rabbits, mice. Also eat frogs, crayfish, birds.

Breeding
A litter of 1 - 8 young are born after a gestation period of 40 to 75 days. Newborns weigh 8g - 10 grams and are pink with sparse coat of white fur. They open their eyes at three and a half weeks and are weaned at about 6 weeks.

Range
most of Canada and northern and eastern parts of the United States. Not found on Arctic coast

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Mustela
Species:vison
Common Name:American Mink


Relatives in same Genus
  Ermine (M. erminea)
  Long-tailed Weasel (M. frenata)
  Black-footed Ferret (M. nigripes)
  Least Weasel (M. nivalis)