Temporal range: 15–0Ma Early Miocene – Recent
G. Fischer de Waldheim, 1817
They are the largest family of mammals. They are diverse, from weasels who eat mice to wolverines that can kill prey much larger than themselves. Mustelids live in many habitats: otters for example, live mostly in the water, while one species of weasel lives in the Arctic.
One kind of mustelid, the ferret, has been tamed and used for hunting for a long time. These days it is mostly kept as a pet. Because the ferret looks a bit like a rat that has been stretched out in the middle, it is sometimes called a tube rat.
These are other well-known animals from the mustelid family.
Images for kids
Sthenictis sp. (American Museum of Natural History)
Time-calibrated tree of Mustelidae showing divergence times between lineages. Split times include: 28.8 million years (Ma) for mustelids vs. procyonids; 17.8 Ma for Taxidiinae; 15.5 Ma for Mellivorinae; 14.8 Ma for Melinae; 14.0 Ma for Guloninae + Helictidinae; 11.5 Ma for Guloninae vs. Helictidinae; 12.0 Ma for Ictonychinae; 11.6 Ma for Lutrinae vs. Mustelinae.
Mustelid Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.