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Badgers Weasels Skunks and Otters: Mustelidae - Behavior And Reproduction, Mustelids And People, Ermine (mustela Erminea;): Species Accounts, Striped Skunk (mephitis Mephitis): Species Accounts - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET,

live black footed wild


Mustelids, members of the family Mustelidae, may either have a slim, elongated body and long tail like weasels, mink, martens, and otters, or a stocky body and short tail like badgers and wolverines. Some have webbed feet for swimming. Their fur may be uniform in color, striped, or spotted. They may be white, silver, brown, or black in color. The smallest mustelid, the least weasel, is also the smallest carnivore, weighing about 1.76 ounces (50 grams).

Mustelids are found on all continents except Antarctica. They live in such countries as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Mongolia, Great Britain, Ireland, Finland, Algeria, and Morocco.

Mustelids inhabit a wide range of habitats. Sea otters live exclusively in the ocean, while river otters forage for food in water but den (make a den, or place to live) on land. Some live in the desert like the honey badgers, and others in tundra marshes, like ermines. Some take over their prey's dens, such as black-footed ferrets. Others, including skunks and badgers live near humans under abandoned buildings, in golf courses, and in parks.

Mustelids are either true carnivores, such as weasels, martens, and otters, feeding mainly on meat, or omnivores, like skunks, badgers, and tayras, consuming both animals and plants. Their diet consists of rodents, rabbits, reptiles, birds, insects, fruits, roots, and seeds.

The United States classifies the black-footed ferret as Endangered due to habitat loss to agriculture and the declining population of prairie dogs, its main prey. The IUCN lists the black-footed ferret as Extinct in the Wild, and four otters, two weasels, and one mink as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Deer: Cervidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Siberian Musk Deer (moschus Moschiferus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, DEER AND PEOPLE [next] [back] Tree Shrews: Scandentia - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Tree Shrews And People, Conservation Status, Common Tree Shrew (tupaia Glis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET

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