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Weasel facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Least weasel, the smallest weasel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: Mustela
Linnaeus, 1758
Mustela frenata
North American Long-tailed Weasel

Weasels are the genus Mustela, part of the Mustelidae family. The genus includes the weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets and minks.

Weasels are small, active predators, long and slender with short legs. Their body shape is adapted to going down burrows after prey such as rabbits. There are 17 species, and they live all over the world except for Antarctica and Australasia.

Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in). They have red or brown upper coats, white underneath. Their tails may be from 34 to 52 mm (1.3 to 2.0 in) long.

Biologically, despite looking a bit like cats, they are in the same suborder as dogs.

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