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Wildlife Wonders

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Vocabulary

  • Weasel – The two types of weasels found in CT are the Short-tailed and the Long-tailed. They both have long thin bodies, short legs, brown fur on top and white fur on their belly.
  • Ermine – A Short-tailed Weasel that has molted and turned into its winter white coloring (except the black-tip on its tail).

Fun Facts

  • The Long-tailed Weasel’s tail is 3-6.5 inches long; the Short-tailed Weasel’s tail is 1.5-3.5 inches.
  • The Short-tailed Weasel turns fully white between Oct and Dec and then turns back to brown (on its backside) between March and May. These molts are controlled by hormones which respond to the length of the period of daylight. Generally, north of Northern PA, the Long-tailed weasel will also molt and turn to white in the winter.
  • The skull of the weasel is flat so it can get into tiny places.
  • Weasels have a high metabolism rate and need to hunt all day, and are active year-round. Since they need to eat often, they kill what food is available and store it so that they can come back to eat later. They do not kill at random or to drink blood.
  • The weasel will breed in late Spring to early summer (Short-tailed) or mid-summer (Long-tailed) and will then have its babies in April of the following year due to delayed implantation.
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