Stoats are short-tailed weasels and are small mammals that belong to the family of Mustelidae. Though they are short-tailed weasels, they are bigger in size as compared to weasels. The life span of a stoat is very less. Stoats were nominated as one of the world’s top 100 worst invaders. Another unique aspect about this species is that their winter coat will turn white in winter, so they will have a white fur in winters and return to their normal brown fur in summers but the tail will retain the black tip. The black tipped tail provides them a unique defense mechanism as the black tip may confuse predators who will try and attack the black tipped tail instead of attacking the head.
The stoats are completely similar to weasels in general proportions, just the difference that their tail is relatively longer. Stoats are playful in nature and love to play. They even play with humans unless they sense that there is no danger to them. Stoats have a long thin shape that helps them to pursue prey above and below the ground simultaneously. Stoats are known to be small predators as they cannot prey on large animals which are large in size. Let’s have a look at some of the interesting stoat facts for kids. After reading these ermine stoat facts, do check out our other articles on peccary facts and fennec fox.
What do they prey on?
Rabbits, mice, rats, small rodents
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Brown/white fur, creamy-white throat patch, black tipped tail, short legs
Winter coat: white fur Summer coat: brown fur Tail: black tip all year round
What are their main threats?
Mankind and hunting
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Found throughout northern hemisphere in woodlands, grasslands, and moorlands
North America, Europe, and Asia
Stoat Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a stoat?
The stoat (Mustela Erminea) is a type of weasel that is much similar to a weasel except the tail of a stoat is different.
What class of animal does a stoat belong to?
Stoats belong to a class of mammals as they give birth to their offspring.
How many stoats are there in the world?
There are about 500,000 stoats across England, and the exact number of stoats in the world is still unknown.
Where does a stoat live?
Stoats live in woodlands, grasslands, and moorlands, mostly in cold and temperate regions.
What is a stoat's habitat?
There are different habitats where the stoats are found, like Northern Hemisphere, and the habitat encompasses woodlands, grasslands, marshes, and mountains. They usually prefer to stay in cold and temperate regions.
Who do stoats live with?
Stoats mostly prefer to live alone and are territorial.
How long does a stoat live?
The lifespan of a stoat is not long, around four or six years. There are some of the stoats that have lived for 10 years in captivity. They may live for fewer years also as they are trapped by gamekeepers. Their lifespan also depends on environmental factors and the surroundings.
How do they reproduce?
The mating of the stoats takes place with different partners and is often forced by the male. The mating takes place in the breeding season while the babies are born in the following spring. The male stoat mates with the female stoats in order to give birth to the kits. A female stoat can get pregnant even if she is blind, deaf, or toothless. The mother stoat can have up to 12 babies at a time, but usually, they give birth to only four to six babies depending on the gestation period as well.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of stoats is of the least concern as their population is stable. They are not classed as endangered as ample number of stoats are present in the wilderness throughout the northern hemisphere.
Stoat Fun Facts
What do stoats look like?
The stoats usually come in a small size that of a small cat and have brown fur and a creamy-white patch on their throat. They also have long bushy tails with a black tip and are likely to be seen on trees. The fur of a stoat is mainly in warm reddish-brown color whereas the underside is white or cream in color. Some of the stoats have the ability to turn white in winter and they are considered to be ermine. They are mustelids that belong to the family of carnivorous mammals. While the fur coat changes color with the season, the black tip on the tail retains its appearance.
How cute are they?
Stoats are believed to be cute because of their appearance. They are usually small in size and look cute because of their small size. They are cute and have similarities as compared to other companion animals. People usually love them for their cuteness.
How do they communicate?
The stoats use different dens that they often take from the prey series. The communication between the stoats usually takes place mainly by scent, and the stoat has a sensitive olfactory system. They sound like gently chirruping guinea pigs or soft bird chatters sometimes.
How big is a stoat?
The stoats are not big in size. They are small in size as compared to other species of the same category. The male stoats are 8-13 in, and the female stoats are 7-11 in. The male stoats are usually larger than the females and differ in size.
How fast can a stoat move?
The stoats travel 20 miles per hour. They kill their prey by moving swiftly. They can travel up to eight km as far as possible in one hunt. They can move fast when they are hunting.
How much does a stoat weigh?
The stoats weigh around 0.55-0.60 lb and are very light in weight as compared to other species.
What are their male and female names of the species?
A male stoat has several names called a dog, hob, or jack, and a female name of the stoat is called a jill. The species is also called ermine because of its winter white color phase. When there is a group of stoats, then it is called a caravan.
What would you call a baby stoat?
A baby stoat is called a kit. A baby stoat has an interesting history as its ancestors were much bigger and stronger. A scientific name, Mustela, was the term used to refer to the stoat’s ancestors.
What do they eat?
Stoats are predators who prey on rabbits, small rodents, mice, rats, birds, and their eggs. You might see them eating berries on a rare occasion as they like to experiment with food when they are unable to catch the prey.
Are they dangerous?
No, stoats are not dangerous animals. Stoats are very playful in nature and have an insatiable curiosity, and try to explore holes like rabbits. They also explore humans as they like to play around people unless and until they sense any danger. Therefore, stoats are not dangerous in nature.
Would they make a good pet?
It is not illegal to have a stoat pet but taking care of this species is difficult. Stoats are generally secretive and do not like being troubled. Stoats do not attack humans unless and until there is any danger to the stoat’s life. They make good pets, but it is necessary that you take proper care of the stoats, or it might end up troubling you. They love to run around in small spaces with great ease. These are some of the stoat pet facts you can consider before buying them.
Did you know...
The stoats have two types of colorings and change their color during winter. During the summer season, the color of the stoat is brown, whereas the color during the winter season is white. The stoats are ermine and are primarily terrestrial and climb trees and swim well.
The stoats hunt primarily at night. They mate only once a year and have several babies. The stoats came into existence in New Zealand in the late 19th century to control rabbits. The stoat has considered a sacred animal as its white winter coat represents purity in the Zoroastrian religion. Stoats are also commonly known as short-tailed weasels and usually occupy a wide range of habitats. The diet of the stoats varies depending on the habitat where they live.
Do people keep stoats as pets?
Yes, people keep stoats as pets, as it is not illegal to have stoats as pets. If the owner is irresponsible and abandons them, then they can have a seriously detrimental effect on the local ecosystem.
Stoat VS. weasel
The most distinguishable difference you can tell between a stoat and a weasel is its tail. The stoats are usually larger in size than that of weasels. Weasels look like a sausage, whereas stoats look like cucumbers. Stoats are long in size, whereas weasels are ultra-slim.
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 fennec fox, or marsupial.
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