Skip to Content

101 Facts About Weasels

Weasel
  • Weasels belong to the Mustelidae family.
  • All weasels are terrestrial animals.
  • The range of long-tailed weasels includes most of North America, extending from just north of the United States-Canada border,  south throughout Central America to northern South America.
  • The most common weasel is the short-tailed weasel, and can be found almost everywhere in North America.
  • The long-tailed weasel is only found in North America.
  • The difference between a long-tailed weasels of North America is that they have black-tipped tails, while a small-tailed weasel does not. 
  • Long-tailed weasels were found almost 2 million years ago in North America.
  • The weasel of North America is the smallest of the predatory mammals.
  • For 101 facts on stoats, click here.
Weasel
  • The long-tailed weasel is the world’s smallest carnivore.
  • The weasel is one of natures most ferocious and relentless predators.  They are known as natures psychopath.
  • Weasels are small, with a length between 6.8 and 8.5 inches.
  • Weasels only attain a length, including the tail of 4.9 in (12.5 cm).
  • Weasels have a weight of 1.47 oz (42 g).
  • Weasels have long, slim bodies, with short legs
  • The weasels tail ranges in length between 1.3 and 2 inches.
  • Their body shape is highly adaptive to hunt their prey of small mammals.  They will chase them through small holes and along narrow passages.
  • Weasels are very active, and very nosy animals.
  • Weasels have sharp pointed canine teeth, which they use for biting and shearing flesh. 
  • For 101 facts on moose, click here.
Weasel
  • Weasels have five toes on each of their paws that are tipped with small, non-retractable claws.
  • Most weasels live in either abandoned burrows, or nests under trees or rock piles.
  • Northern species of weasels develop a thick, white coat in the wintertime.
  • Weasels live in cold climates.
  • The long-tailed weasels of North America are cinnamon-brown in color with white underparts that have a yellow tinge to them.
  • Weasels can run remarkably quickly when they are chasing their prey.
  • Weasels have a very soft, but dense fur.
  • Weasel have a white coat in winter, and a brown coat in summer.
  • In winter, the fur of the least weasel glows a bright lavender color when exposed to ultraviolet light.
  • Weasels are hungry carnivores.
  • Weasels are capable of controlling animals significantly larger than themselves. 
  • Weasels will often climb trees to hunt squirrels.

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a stoat and a weasel, I have written an article on this here.

Weasel
  • Weasels kill a much larger number of birds than they
    could ever eat.
  • Weasels hunt their prey by detecting scent or sound, and then follow their prey, attacking quickly.
  • Weasels wrap their muscular body around the animal to stop them moving.
  • The weasel will corner their prey before grabbing it, and immobilizing it.
  • Weasels kill their prey by biting the back of its neck.  They then deliver a single killing bite to the back of the head, puncturing the head or spinal cord. 
  • Weasels have been known to travel as far as 2.5 km to hunt for food.
  • Weasels have been seen killing and carrying off animals between two and ten times their size.
  • Weasels will eat voles, shrews, rabbits, rats, chipmunks and other small mammals in their habitat.
  • Weasels also hunt and kill cats, dogs, snakes, and owls.
  • Weasels are usually most active at night,
  • Weasels often hunt during the day as well.
  • For 101 facts on narwhals, click here.
Weasel
  • Males weasels tend to chase and consume larger prey than the females will.
  • Both male and female weasels defend their territories from others of the same sex.
  • The sexual maturity of weasels begins from 3 to 4 months for the female.
  • Male weasels achieve maturity at around 8 or 9 months.
  • Both male and females secure their territory when mating.
  • A weasel’s growth period lasts about 35 days,
  • Female weasels gives birth to on average to 4 to 5 kits per litter.
  • A weasel’s lifespan is 1 to 2 years in the wild, significantly shorter than many other carnivores.
  • Weasels live in a variety of habitats, such as open fields, woodlands, thickets, roadsides and farmlands.
  • Weasels prey mainly on mammal’s that are rabbit-sized or smaller.
  • Weasels have been known to attack humans if the weasel becomes scared or threatened.
  • For 101 facts on armadillos, click here.
Weasel
  • Weasels bodies don’t store fat, so they need a constant supply of food to provide enough energy.
  • Weasel sounds serve a variety of purposes.
  • A loud, high-pitched sound is usually a response to danger,
  • Weasels commonly drink the blood of the victim, leaving the flesh for other animals such as cats and ferrets.
  • The long-tailed weasel of North America is very adept at climbing large trees.
  • They are good swimmers.
  • Female weasels measure around 15–18 centimeters long and have a tail length of 4.5 centimeters.
  • Males usually weigh up to 115 grams, and females up to 59 grams.
  • Weasels nests are made of grass and leaves, usually in holes in a wall, or in tree stumps.
  • For 101 facts on bighorn sheep, click here.
Weasel
  • Weasels breed between April and August; this is the only time males and females stay with each other.
  • Though weasels can dig their own burrows quite quickly, they will sometimes take over other animals’ burrows and make them their own.
  • Long-tailed weasels of North America are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females.
  • A weasels average litter size is six.
  • At birth young kits weigh about 3 grams.
  • Baby Weasels have pink wrinkled skin with white fur.
  • After fourteen days, the kits hair starts to thicken.  Size-wise the male kits are much larger.
  • At 36 days, the kits is weaned and starts eating the food their mother brings back to the nest.
  • The mother teaches the young how to kill prey. 
  • For 101 facts on grizzly bears, click here.
Weasel
  • After 56 days, weasels can kill their own prey. 
  • The young are called kittens or kits.
  • The collective noun for a group of weasels is boogle, gang, pack, or confusion.
  • The weasel is known as a very intelligent mammal.
  • Long-tailed weasels have sensitive emotions.
  • Weasels live up to 10 years, though most live three to five years.
  • Weasels stay warm by lowering their metabolism.  They then curl into balls inside their burrows.
  • Weasels are active all year long.
  • They are expert climbers, swimmers and runners. 
  • Weasels often kill more prey than they can eat, storing them for later use.
  • Weasels are known to be territorial, defending their home ranges when invaded.
  • Weasels are not social animals, living alone.
  • Male and females live apart except in the mating season
  • A male weasels home range will overlap those of several females.
  • Weasels are very aggressive when their home ranges are intruded.
  • Weasels are quick, alert and agile.
  • For 101 facts on blue whales, click here.
Weasel
  • Weasels are known to be noisy, usually in response to a disturbance.
  • Weasels communicate among themselves through visual, sound, and scent.
  • Sounds and body language are used for communicating when two weasels confront each other.
  • Female weasels release an appealing scent when ready to mate. 
  • Long-tailed weasels are extensive in North America, and fairly common throughout its range.  No overall population estimate is available
  • Weasels help to control populations of rabbits and rodents.
  • Weasels have a well-developed sense of sight, hearing, and smell, enabling them to be sensitive and efficient predators.
  • Long-tailed weasel of North America has a black tip to their tail, even in their all-white winter coats.
  • For 101 facts on polar bears, click here.
Weasel
  • Weasels long bodies and flexible backs allow them to enter the burrows of rodents and other animals that are smaller than them.
  • Weasels are known to release a strong-smelling musk if they are scared.
  • The color of the Weasels eyes is black during the daytime. However, at night, the eyes of weasels glow bright emerald green if caught in a flashlight. 
  • Weasels are members of the genus Mustela, which also includes stoats and ferrets.
  • Native Americans saw the weasel as a bad sign.
  • Weasel is also an insult to a person that is untrustworthy and sneaky.

Want 101 facts about the stoat. You can read that here.