Long-tailed weasel

Uses a hunting technique known as the Weasel War Dance that involves a series of frenetic turns, manic twists, and jumps to confuse the prey

Matt Lavin

Sporting brown fur on its upper side and yellowish-white belly fur, the long-tailed weasel exhibits a striking contrast in coloration, accentuated by its signature black-tipped tail. Notably, the long tail accounts for approximately 50% of its body length, providing balance and agility as it navigates its environment with precision and grace.

Despite its charming appearance, the long-tailed weasel possesses a relentless and ferocious demeanor when it comes to hunting. With a long, narrow body, elongated whiskers, and keen senses, including acute hearing and a keen sense of smell, the long-tailed weasel is well-equipped to detect and pursue its prey with precision and efficiency. Unlike some other predators, the long-tailed weasel exhibits a fearless attitude, fearlessly taking on prey species that are larger and more formidable in size.

The diet of the long-tailed weasel primarily consists of rodents, with small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews comprising the bulk of its prey. However, the long-tailed weasel’s culinary preferences extend beyond rodents alone, as it occasionally consumes lizards, small birds, and even fruits when available.

When it comes to hunting, the long-tailed weasel employs a combination of stealth, agility, and aggression to secure its prey. Using scent and sound to detect the presence of potential prey, the long-tailed weasel relies on its sharp teeth and powerful jaws to deliver a fatal bite to the base of the prey’s skull, ensuring a swift and efficient kill.

In addition to its hunting prowess, the long-tailed weasel exhibits territorial behavior, fiercely defending its territory from intruders. With a bold and assertive demeanor, the long-tailed weasel confronts potential rivals and threats with aggression, using vocalizations and physical displays to assert dominance and establish territorial boundaries.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Belize
2015
Bolivia
2015
Brazil
2015
Canada
2015
Colombia
2015
Costa Rica
2015
Ecuador
2015
El Salvador
2015
Guatemala
2015
Honduras
2015
Mexico
2015
Nicaragua
2015
Panama
2015
Peru
2015
United States
2015
Venezuela
2015

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No