7 Differences Between Ermines and Weasels with Table

What is the difference between ermines and weasels?

Ermines and weasels are both mammals. The two possess some similarities but there are some distinctive features that make the two different.

In American usage, weasels may refer to the genus Mustela or any member species from the weasel family.

Weasel refers to a single species that is the least weasel and it differs from other members of the weasel family.

The main difference between ermines and weasels is that ermine is dark brown in color during summer with a white belly, feet, and white line down its hind legs while weasel has reddish-brown back, sides, tail, and tip head with white underparts. They both turn white during the winter season.

Differences Between Ermines and Weasels

Comparison table (Ermines vs Weasels)

Characteristics Ermine Weasel
Color They are dark brown with a white belly, feet, and white line down their hind legs. They have a reddish-brown back, sides, tail, and tip head with white underparts.
Size They are larger in body size. They are comparatively smaller in body size.
Gestation period They take a longer time, that is 280 days before they deliver. They take between 34 to 37 days.
Number of offspring They give birth to between 3 to 18 offspring. They give birth to between 1 to 7 offspring.
Predators The predators include; foxes, fishers, badgers, and domestic cats. Their predators include; owls and hawks.
Hunting They are hunted for their fur. They are not hunted for their fur.
Tail The tips of their tails have black color. Their tails are all white in color.
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What are Ermines?

Ermine is a mammal that belongs to the family of weasels. They are mostly found in North America for they have adapted to its forest environment and colder climate.

They are larger in size and appear different from other weasels.  They are dark brown with a white belly, feet, and white line down their hind legs during the summer period.

During winter, they turn to white color at the tip of their tails remain darker. As it is large in size, they are preyed on by large predators such as domestic cats, badgers, and fishers.

Their gestation period is long. They take 280 days before they give birth to the young ones. They give birth to between 3 to 18 young ones. The young ones are normally blind at birth so they take care of the young ones until they mature.

As their fur is soft and looks appealing to many, they are hunted for their fur to make stoles.

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What are Weasels?

Weasel is a general name used to refer to a family but it also applies to a single species which is the least weasel. It differs from other family members in various ways.

Weasel is smaller and this makes it be preyed on often. Their predators include the owls and hawks but still can be preyed on by other large animals.

They have reddish-brown backs, sides, tails, and tip heads with white underparts during the summer period.

During the winter season, they turn white in color. Their fur is not soft hence their fur is not hunted for unlike the ermines.

Their gestation period is between 34 to 37 days. It gives birth to between 3 to 7 young ones and they take care of them as at birth they are normally blind.

Main Differences between Ermines and Weasels

  1. Ermines are larger in body size while weasels are comparatively smaller.
  2. Ermines have black-tipped tails while weasels have whitetails.
  3. Ermines give birth to many offspring while weasels give birth to few offspring.
  4. Ermines have a long gestation period while weasels have a shorter gestation period.
  5. Ermines are hunted for their fur while weasels are not hunted for their fur.
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Similarities between Ermines and Weasels

  1. They are both mammals.
  2. Both belong to the same family.
  3. They both change the color of their fur during the winter season.
  4. They both take care of their young ones after birth.
  5. Both reproduce in the same way.

In Conclusion

Ermines and weasels are mammals that belong to the same family. They possess different colors during the winter and different colors during summer.

Ermines are larger in body size while weasels are smaller in body size and this makes them have different predators.

The main feature that makes ermines to be different from weasels is the fur color.

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