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Stoats

Stoats and Weasels are both related to the badger. A stoat is larger than a Weasel, often with a white coat in winter, with a black tip to the tail.

The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the ermine or short-tailed Weasel, is a species of Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the Weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip.

Male stoats have a body which is 190-330mm (7.5-13 inches)long with a tail which is roughly 75-120mm (3.0-4.5 inches) long and an adult weight of roughly 260 grammes. Females are quite a bit smaller, 170-270mm long, with a 65-105mm tail and an adult weight of less than 180 grammes. If you contrast this to a badger (which can typically weigh 11,000 grammes), you can see why some people are surprised that Weasels and stoats are related to badgers. Indeed, there remains a lot of confusion between Weasels and stoats - especially in Ireland. This is because Weasels do not occur in Ireland but stoats do, but the Irish called their stoats, weasels. In the USA, they called the stoat the short-tailed weasel.

Incidentally, the word for "stoat" is likely either the Belgian word stout, meaning "bold" or the Gothic word stautan, meaning "to push".

A male stoat is called a dog, hob or jack, while a female is called a bitch or jill. The collective noun for stoats is either "gang" or "pack".

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Michael Clark
Superb
book by
Michael
Clark.
His affection
for badgers
really shines
through.
We really recommend this book. Click here to buy Badgers by Michael Clark