Animals

Mink: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Cute and adorable American Mink facts about their brown fur and tawny brown coat
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The Mink is one of the cutest mammals that belong to Mustelids. Minks can be described as small mammals with smooth fur all over their highly valued bodies for the same reason — their fur. They are very adorable and appealing with their bright tawny brown to dark brown fur and skin color. They usually live in moderate climate conditions. The American Mink, whose scientific name is Neovison, is generally found in the upper parts of America. America has the largest population of Minks. You can also spot them in areas of Canada (south of the tree line). Coming to their world population, it is less than 30,000 worldwide, which is quite low. The Mink's life span is around 10 years. They are chubby and soft at 30-50 cm tall and weigh 1-3 kg. The male Mink is known as a boar, and the female Mink is known as a sow, and the young ones are known as kits. They have legs, a long, thick neck, and a broad head with short, rounded ears. Fast running is important for them to keep them safe and away from predators, and therefore they can run up to 6.5 km/h.

Read on to know more! If you like reading these facts, you should also check our articles on marsupial facts or short-beaked echidna facts.

Mink

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Frogs, salamanders, fish, crayfish, muskrats, mice, and voles, along with aquatic birds and their eggs

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

European Mink: 3-4 pups Average litter size: 7-8 pups

How much do they weigh?

2- 6lb (1-3kg)

How long are they?

19-23 in (50-60 cm)


How tall are they?

12–20 in (30–50 cm)


What do they look like?

Tawny brown to a regular brown

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Loss of habitat, high human-induced mortality, Aleutian Mink disease

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Close to water bodies, like streams, lakes, or ponds

Locations

North America

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammal

Scientific Name

Neovison vison

Family

Mustelids

Genus

Neovison

Mink Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mink?

The Mink belong to the Mustelids and mammal class. They come from the weasels' families of America. The American Mink is larger than Mustela lutreola (European Mink). Minks are considered to be territorial animals. The wild Mink weighs around 4.5 lb.

What class of animal does a Mink belong to?

The wild Mink belong to the mammal class. The female species give birth to the young ones and feed them with their milk. The American Mink and other Minks are semi-aquatic in nature having fur on their bodies.

How many Minks are there in the world?

There are less than 30,000. The conservation status of Minks is Least Concern. The males and females both look similar and there are only minute differences between them. Including both the males and females in the world, the Mink population is less than 30,000 which is very low for any species in the world. According to various organization reports and recent studies, the European Minks are found to be 25,000 in Russia.

Where does a Mink live?

The American Mink with the scientific name Neovision vision are generally found in North America. Photographers and travelers can also see them all over the United States except for the southwestern deserts. They are tawny brown in color and usually live near water bodies and wetlands.

What is a Mink's habitat?

The home region of the Mink is Canada and across North America except for the Southwestern deserts. Minks may prefer forested areas, especially near water bodies. You can also find them in Europe, Russia, Iceland, the British Isles, and the Patagonia region of South America. There are three Mink farms in Ireland in Donegal, Kerry, and Laois. The ideal habitat for the Mink species within America are streams, ponds, and lakes, with some sort of brushy or rocky cover. They usually consider tree covers and water bodies as their first preference. They like wetlands and commonly are found along streams and beaver dams in undeveloped rural areas.

Who do Minks live with?

The American Mink (Neovison vison) and even wild Minks prefer to live alone except during mating season. They usually prefer coming out during night time or in the summer season. They remain in their den during the daytime and winters to remain in the moderate temperature that their body wants. Young Minks live with their family until and unless they become old enough to capture and take care of their territories. The Mink may sometimes prefer going to living in groups known as the company. The male species are bold and protect their territories, wandering around in search of food for him and for his young ones whereas the female species remains in the den, with her litter, and protects them.

How long does a Mink live?

The wild Minks and American Mink both have a life span of 10 years but due to certain factors and conditions, the life span barely exceeds three years in the wild. These animals usually prey on frogs, salamanders, fish, crayfish, muskrats, mice, and voles, along with aquatic birds and their eggs. Factors for their survival are their diet, range/areas they prefer to live, breeding, predators, and weather.

How do they reproduce?

The species of American and wild Mink both breed during late February or early March, that is when there is a moderate temperature all around. The male doesn't mate with only one female Mink; they usually find many females during this short season. Facts reveal that the males typically leave or abandon the females after breeding has been completed. The average litter frequency is once per year, usually bringing to life about four young ones. When it comes to the mating process, it is quite violent when compared to other species. The male goes on to bite the female on the nape, pinning her with his forefeet. This mating ritual takes place between 10 minutes to up to four hours. Females usually mate with multiple males during the mating months.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is currently recorded to be Least Concern, but this is subject to change any time their population declines. The world population of Mink is less than 30,000. The treatment of Minks on fur farms across the world has been a major worry and constant focus of animal rights groups.

Mink Fun Facts

What do Minks look like?

Minks are very cute, chubby, and furry animals. These species of animals have short legs, a long, thick neck, and a broad head with short, rounded ears. The American Mink is known for Mink fur. The Mink has a coat on their body of tawny brown to dark brown color with white markings on their underparts, chest, and throat. Mink fur is soft and thick, with oily, guard hairs that waterproof the animal's coat. The length of a Mink is about 12–20 in (30–50 cm), and they weigh around 1-3 kg. They are commonly known for their fur, and according to PETA, there are fur farms around the world that grow and captivate Minks. In these farms, they are often killed for their fur and Mink lashes. Mink eyelashes are made of real fur. The Mink animal has partially webbed toes, showing the Mink's semi-aquatic nature as they use their feet underwater.

Fact is that the beauty of the Mink and its fur is its greatest weakness and is the reason it is captured.

How do they communicate?

The American Mink and Mustela lutreola and even other Minks have similar ways of communication. Their main focus is on their territorial boundaries. They are usually quiet but rely on chemical signaling for protecting territorial boundaries and reproductive status. They are very intelligent and smart and have exceptional senses of vision, smell, and hearing. They communicate through a variety of cues, including chemical, visual, and auditory signals.

How big is a Mink?

When it comes to their length, Minks are about 12–20 in (30–50 cm) tall and weigh around 1-3 kg. But, if we compare them with the Mongoose's length and weight, they are not much bigger.

How fast can a Mink run?

They can run 6.5 km/h but sometimes larger carnivores and birds prey on Minks within their habitat. Mink is mostly a solitary creature, except during rearing its puppies or during the breeding season.

How much does a Mink weigh?

American Minks weighs between 0.5-1.6kg, which is comparatively lower than others.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The common name for a female Mink is sow and a male Mink is known as boar.

What would you call a baby Mink?

The babies are known as kits.

The gestation period of American Minks is for a period of 40-75 days while on the other hand European Minks have a gestation period of 35-72 days. The young mink is born in late spring that is between the months of April or May. The average litter size range from one to eight babies. They are very cute and adorable and stay with their parents until they become old and can survive in their own territories.

What do they eat?

They purely come under the category of carnivores as they prey on frogs, salamanders, fish, crayfish, muskrats, mice, and voles, along with aquatic birds and their eggs. Generally, they go in search of their terrestrial prey such as hares and rabbits. Their food schedule is different during different seasons. Their spring and summer food typically fish, mammals, birds, and eggs. During the months of spring, they prefer to diet on fish, ducks, and other waterfowl, whereas they exclusively prey on fish in the winter months.

Are they dangerous?

They are not really considered a danger to humans as their small size and our human nature typically makes them want to keep away from us. They may dangerous for any other tiny animals, mostly small mammals.

Would they make a good pet?

They are not known to be good pet animals as they may often feel threatened around human beings and they may respond by biting.

Did you know...

The fur on the body of the Mink is very valuable and they are killed for their fur. Their furs are very precious for making certain clothes and luxurious items, such as a Mink coat.

Minks possess webbed feet that help them be great swimmers. Minks can swim underwater up to a depth of 100 ft.

The Mustela lutreola is rarely found more than 328 ft (100 m) away from freshwater.

Where do Minks live in the US?

The American Mink, Neovison vison, is found nearby regions of the American north, as well as across Canada, except for the Southwestern deserts.

These minks are native to America and if they are found in other countries, such as the UK, they are outside of their home range of America.

How long can a Mink stay underwater?

Minks are able to stay underwater for a little longer than five minutes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including field vole, or rice rat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our mink coloring pages.

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