According to the University of Michigan's Department of Zoology, the family Mustelidae includes 56 species of weasels, otters, badgers and their relatives. Most members of the family have elongated bodies, short legs and compact heads, but badgers and wolverines have broader builds. Mustelids have very strong jaws and sharp canine teeth they use to kill their prey.Continue Reading
The smallest mustelid species is the least weasel. Least weasels are only about six inches long and rarely exceed one-half pound in weight. By contrast, wolverines reach 70 pounds in weight, while sea otters occasionally reach 100 pounds. All are primarily carnivorous, but some species may eat plant matter from time to time. Large mustelids often hunt and consume the smaller members of the group. Mustelids serve important roles in the ecosystems in which they live and help to regulate rodent and bird populations.
Mustelids live on every continent except Antarctica and Australia. Most forms are terrestrial, but a few, including the otters, minks, martens and fishers, are almost fully aquatic. Some mustelids, such as fishers and martens, are accomplished climbers, while others, such as badgers and wolverines, are capable excavators.
While skunks were formerly considered relatives of the mustelids, molecular evidence has recently been used to move them into the family Mephitidae.Learn more about Mammals
Ferrets are small domesticated animals related to weasels, otters, minks, badgers and wolverines. Their closest wild relative is the European polecat. People first domesticated ferrets about 2,000 years ago for controlling vermin and hunting rabbits. They are popular pets in North America and Europe.Full Answer >
There are many different species of skunk, which break down into four distinct genera; species in the genus conepatus include the hog-nosed skunks, while the genus mephitis contains a hooded and striped skunk, the genus mydaus contains two types of stink badgers, also the newest members of the skunk family, and the genus spilogale has the spotted skunks — eastern, western, southern and pygmy. These skunk species share basic coat colors of black and white and reside around the world, although most live in the Western Hemisphere. However, despite belonging to the same family, different species of skunks live in various locations and show variations in behavior and physiological characteristics.Full Answer >
Badger.org lists several species of badgers that live in different parts of the world, but Wikipedia states that there are only three subfamilies. These subfamilies draw lines between the European, American and African honey badgers.Full Answer >
Many animals, such as skunks, badgers, hedgehogs, fox, minks, weasels, bear and mice, eat bees, as do several types of birds and many insects. However, there is no mammal that specifically preys on bees.Full Answer >