Weasels are mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. Originally, the name "weasel" was applied to one species of the genus, the European form of the Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). Early literary references to weasels, for example their common appearances in fables, refer to this species rather than to the genus as a whole, reflecting what is still the common usage in the United Kingdom. In technical discourse, however, as in American usage, the term "weasel" can refer to any member of the genus, or to the genus as a whole. Of the 16 extant species currently classified in the genus Mustela, ten have "weasel" in their common name. Among those that do not are the stoat or ermine, the two species of mink, and the polecats or ferrets.
Weasels vary in length from fifteen to thirty-five centimeters (six to fourteen inches), and usually have a light brown upper coat, white belly and black fur at the tip of the tail; in many species, populations living at high latitudes molt to a white coat with black fur at the tip of the tail in winter. They have long slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails are typically almost as long as the rest of their bodies. As is typical of small carnivores, weasels have a reputation for cleverness and guile. They also have tails that can be any where from 22-33 cm long and they use these to defend the food they get and to claim territory from other weasels.
Weasels feed on small mammals, and in former times were considered vermin since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens. Certain species of weasel and ferrets, have been reported to perform the mesmerizing weasel war dance, after fighting other creatures, or acquiring food from competing creatures. In folklore at least, this dance is particularly associated with the stoat.
Popular culture references
British popular-culture references to weasels are generally specifically to the Least Weasel. For example, Alan Lloyd's novel Kine, about a fictional war in the English countryside between weasels and the invasive species mink, depicts the latter as sadistic, voracious invaders, giants in comparison to the weasels; in American usage, both species would be kinds of weasel. Similarly, in Kenneth Grahame's popular story The Wind in the Willows the villains are the weasels and the stoats, again two species of weasel in American usage. Here everyday usage reflects the original European use of the word weasel for a single species.
A kamaitachi is, according to Japanese myth, a malevolent, weasel-like wind spirit, wielding a sharp sickle. They are nearly always depicted in groups of three individuals, and the three act together in their attacks; the first one hits the victim so that he/she falls to the ground, the second slashes with the sickle, and the third partially heals the wound. Also in Japanese mythology, weasels represent bad luck and death.
A cartoon shown on Cartoon Network is entitled I Am Weasel, whose main character is a weasel.
A notable and infamous character of the American animated series Animaniacs is Minerva Mink, a beautiful, vain yet shallow mink female who is particularly chased after for her fur. Although intended to be a major character of the series, the depiction of her sexuality on children's television caused a censor uproar, forcing the writers to deemphasize her character. Although Minerva starred in two cartoons, she remained a semi-prominent member of the show's cast.
Music parodist Weird Al Yankovic wrote a song entitled Weasel Stomping Day, which was later made into a short video shown in an episode of Robot Chicken. It depicts weasels being stomped to death.
Wallpaper, backgrounds, images and pictures located below
|Antelope||Badgers Bears||Beaver Otters||Birds|
|Buffalo (Bison) Cow||Camels Giraffe||Cats||Chipmunks Squirrel|
|Deer Elk||Dolphin Shark||Elephant Rhinoceros||Fish|
|Goats Sheep||Ground-Hedge Hogs||Hippopotamus||Horses Zebras|
|Landscape Flowers||Manatee||Marmot Mink||Miscellaneous Animals|
|Monkeys||Moose Musk Ox||Planes Helicopters||Porcupine Opossum|
|Rabbits Skunks||Raccoon Prairie Dog||Reptiles||Seals Whale Orcas|
|Ships||Weasels Wolverine||Wolf Coyote Foxes|
The Number One Web Hosting Service