Agriculture
Making the most of a meal
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
Lives of a Mole Rat
Awake at Night
Deep Krill
Behavior
Slumber by the numbers
Math is a real brain bender
Honeybees do the wave
Birds
Waterfowl
Hummingbirds
Carnivorous Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Bandages that could bite back
Popping to Perfection
Computers
Look into My Eyes
Graphene's superstrength
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Living Fossil
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Unnatural Disasters
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Environment
To Catch a Dragonfly
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
Pollution Detective
Finding the Past
The Taming of the Cat
An Ancient Childhood
Chicken of the Sea
Fish
Sturgeons
Angler Fish
Goldfish
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Healing Honey
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
It's a Math World for Animals
Math Naturals
Human Body
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
A Long Haul
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Invertebrates
Crawfish
Hermit Crabs
Shrimps
Mammals
Squirrels
Oxen
Wolves
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Powering Ball Lightning
Dreams of Floating in Space
One ring around them all
Plants
A Giant Flower's New Family
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Copperhead Snakes
Crocodilians
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Mercury's magnetic twisters
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
Reach for the Sky
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Pronouns
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Troubles with Hubble
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Add your Article

Weasels and Kin

Mustelidae (from Latin mustela, weasel) is a family of carnivorous mammals. Many kinds of mustelids are maligned by some humans. However, Mustelidae is among the most successful and diverse families in order Carnivora. Mustelids range from the Least weasel, not much larger than a mouse, which can live in the high Arctic; to the wolverine, a 50 pound (23 kg) animal that can dispatch reindeer, crush bones as thick as the femur of a moose to get at the marrow, and has been known to drive bears from kills; to the ratel, which has a unique symbiosis with a bird called the honey guide bird; to the tropical, largely fruit-eating tayra; to the aquatic otters. Other mustelids include mink, badgers, weasels, polecats, zorilla, and martens. Mustelidae is one of the most species-rich families in order Carnivora, as well as one of the older ones. Mustelid-like forms have existed for the past 40 million years and roughly coincided with the appearance of rodents. Several members of the family are aquatic to varying degrees, ranging from the semi-aquatic mink, the river otters, and the highly aquatic sea otter. The Sea otter is also the only non-primate mammal known to use a tool while foraging. It uses "anvil" stones to crack open the shellfish that form a significant part of its diet. It is a "keystone species," keeping its prey populations in balance so some do not outcompete the others and they do not destroy the kelp in which they live. Just as otters are adapted to swimming, several groups of badgers are adapted to digging. Many species of badgers and otters have evolved social groupings. The fisher, a type of marten, has a unique system to kill porcupines: it attacks the porcupine's face until the animal is so weak it can be flipped over, giving the fisher access to the porcupine's vulnerable belly. In some areas porcupines form as much as a quarter of the fisher's diet. The Least weasel, adapted for eating small rodents such as mice and voles, reproduces up to three times a year (unusual for carnivores, who typically reproduce annually) to take advantage of the fluctuations in rodent populations. Because of its small body size and fast metabolism it must eat every few hours to survive, so it runs through multiple cycles of sleep and wakefulness every day. Mustelids also have some of the most exquisite furs—the mink, the sable (a type of marten) and the ermine (stoat) are all members of the family. This has led to the skinning of these animals, especially in the past. One species, the Sea mink (Mustela macrodon) of New England and Canada, was driven to extinction by fur trappers around the same time that the Passenger pigeon was declining. Its appearance and habits are almost unknown because no one seems to have preserved even a single complete specimen, let alone conducted a systematic study. Today, some mustelids are in trouble for other reasons. The Sea otter, who almost shared the fate of the Sea mink, now risks being destroyed by oil spills and the side effects of overfishing; the Black-footed ferret, a relative of the European polecat, suffers from the disappearance of the American prairie; and the wolverine is in a long, slow decline because of habitat destruction and persecution.

Weasels and Kin
Weasels and Kin








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™