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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis)




Least Weasel | Mustela nivalis photo
Least Weasel

Photograph by Marko K. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Least Weasel | Mustela nivalis photo
Least Weasel

Photograph by Marko K. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Least Weasel | Mustela nivalis photo
Least Weasel

Photograph by Marko K. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

LEAST WEASEL FACTS

Description
The Least Weasel has a long slender body with long neck, flat, narrow head and short legs. It has large round ears and large black eyes. The feet have five fingers with sharp claws. The fur is dark brown above and white with brown spots on the underside. The winter coat is all white in northern populations and brown all year round in the southern populations

Other Names
Weasel, Dwarf Weasel, Pygmy Weasel, Mouse Weasel

Size
Length: 16.5cm - 20.5cm. Weight 30g - 55g

Environment
open forests , farmlands, meadows, prairies, steppe, semi-deserts, tundra

Food
Mainly small mammals such as rodents. Also eggs, young birds, insects, lizards.

Breeding
A litter of 1 - 7 young is born after a gestation period of 34 - 37 days. Newborns weigh from 1.1g - 1.7 g and are naked, blind, and deaf. They reach their adult length after 49 - 56 days.

Range
Alaska and northern Canada south to Wyoming and North Carolina

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Mustela
Species:nivalis
Common Name:Least Weasel


Relatives in same Genus
  Ermine (M. erminea)
  Long-tailed Weasel (M. frenata)
  Black-footed Ferret (M. nigripes)
  American Mink (M. vison)