Animals

Difference Between Mink and Weasel

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Main Difference

The main difference between the mink and weasel is that the mink is a semi-aquatic, webbed feet mammal, and has thick brown fur, whereas the weasel is a small terrestrial yellow coated mammal.

Mink vs. Weasel

The mink is a semi-aquatic mammal that loves to live in water. Weasel loves to live in the terrestrial environment. Mink has thick foamy hair. Weasel does not possess thick fur. The genus of mink is neovison and Mustela, whereas the genus of the weasel is Mustela.

The specific areas of mink are Europe and North America. The weasel is found in North America, Canada, and Alaska. Mink are mostly aquatic but can survive near ponds, rivers, and lakes. The weasel lives on land. The mink is a large-sized mammal as compared to the weasel.

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The weight of the mink is greater than that of a weasel. The tail of the mink is long, while in the case of the weasel, it is short. The fur of mink is mostly blackish-brown, whereas the color of weasel fur varies from brown or yellow-colored. Mink possess partially webbed feet.

The mink has no webbed feet. The mink and weasel both are carnivores, but the prey of the mink is large, whereas the prey of the weasel is small. The mink eats rodents and birds, whereas the weasel eats chicken and eggs. The mink catches the neck of the prey. The weasel attacks the skull of prey and feeds it.

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The mink possesses a white winter coat on the flip side; the weasel possesses the same coat the whole year. The mink dives deep into the water and knows how to swim. The weasel does not like swimming. The mink is associated with humans in the way that its fur is used for commercial purposes. The weasel is not human-associated, considered a pest because it steals chicken and eggs from the farms.

Comparison Chart

MinkWeasel
The mink is a semi-aquatic mammal with thick and fluffy hair.Weasel is a terrestrial yellow-colored mammal
Genus
Neovison and MustelaMustela
Occurrence
Europe and North AmericaMostly in northern areas, Canada and Alaska
Habitat
Mostly water-lovingPrefers less watery areas
Size
LargeSmall
Weight
BulkyLess
Tail
LongNot so long
Fur
Blackish brown furBrown fur
Feet
Partially webbedNot webbed
Diet
Rodents, birds, eggsChickens, snakes, squirrels
Hunt Mode
Attacks on the neck of the preyAttacks on the skull of prey
Winter Coat
WhiteSame color brown
Swimming
Dives deep into the waterNot attracted to the swimming
Metabolism
Rate is slowRate is high
Human Association
Beautification purposes on farmsConsidered as pests

What is Mink?

The mink is a small, dark-complexioned, semi-aquatic, and carnivorous animal that belongs to Neovison and Mustelidae family. The mink cannot live away from water, live in water, or in areas close to water like lakeside homes, cottages, and across the shoreline. The species of mink divides into one is European mink, the other one is American mink. These two species vary in different characters from one another.

Mink male weighs about 1 kg whereas females have less weight than 600g. The male body length is 24 inches, and the female body length is 20 inches. Mink has a long slender body. It has a long neck, short legs, pointy nose. The feet are partially webbed. Therefore, these small animals are good swimmers and can dive deep to catch their prey. The diet includes fish, aquatic animals, small mammals, eggs, and birds.

Mink does not reside far from water, moves to other areas but is just 100 meters far from water. It happens mostly when the prey is a rabbit. The farm mink eat cheese, fish, extra food, the remains of slaughtered animals, and dog food. The mink has thick, silky, and shiny brown-colored fur. It changes its coat color in winter and often gets white. The fur of the mink is used for any commercial purposes. Cosmetics and some medical products use mink oil in them. The waterproof leather coats prepare from their fur.

Minks are raised on farms for their fur. The maximum age of mink is ten years. Mink are predators of fish. To prevent these fish species from extinction, people hunt mink. The predators of mink include coyotes, wolves, and humans. Minks are aggressive towards their territory; they do not allow any other animal to come into their area. Mink can tolerate females in their area, but other males cannot come. Their territory has a good supply of food.

What is Weasel?

Weasels belong to the Mustelids family. These are small animals, with long slender bodies, long necks, small heads, and short legs. They reside in every place except some places like Antarctica. Weasels can adapt to life all over the world. The weasels have brown coats, but often have yellow and white spots on their body. The most notable species is the least weasel, which is the smallest flesh-eater. The least weasel is only 25 grams in weight and its body length is up to 25 inches.

The large-sized weasels include tropical and long-tailed weasels. The large weasel has a 10 to 12-inch long body, and its weight is about 350 grams. The tail grows long and ranges from 10 to 20 cm. Their habits include sleeping in the day and hunting at night. They spend most of their time hunting, eating, and storing excess food for further use. Weasel has slender bodies that can pursue their prey in burrows. They can dig burrows and live in them.

Weasel attacks the skull of the prey and bites on its skull or spinal cord. Their diet consists of rodents, mice, rabbits, birds, eggs, and chickens. Weasels do not possess the ability to store fat in their bodies; therefore, they need food to fulfill energy after some time. A strange character is present in weasels is that they circle and prey, hop and jump around it and start a dance to coerce their prey.

Weasel does not like to swim and lives in woodlands, forests, and grasslands. Their feet are not webbed. They are small-faced innocent animals but are veracious. They are beneficial for farmers as the weasels eat rodents, and their crops remain safe. The weasels fall under the category of pests because they steal hens and eggs from farms, and it’s a huge loss for humans.

Key Differences

  1. Mink is a semi-aquatic carnivore mammal, whereas the weasel is a terrestrial carnivore animal.
  2. Mink has two genera Neovison and Mustela, while weasel has only one genus which is Mustela.
  3. Mink are found on almost every continent on the flip side weasel occurs in northern areas, Canada and Alaska state, but its species are not present in Australia and Antarctica.
  4. Mink prefers to live in water, but they can also live at the edges of lakes, streams, and ponds; conversely, weasel does not prefer a water habitat and lives in wetlands, forests, bushes, and grasses.
  5. Mink are large and round about 28 inches long, whereas weasel is small and 22 inches long.
  6. Mink is a heavier animal and weighs about 2-3 pounds, whereas the weight of a weasel is about 10-16 oz.
  7. Mink always have a long tail; on the other hand, the weasel species can have both short and long tails.
  8. Mink has thick, beautiful, and fluffy fur. Their color is blackish-brown on the flip side; the weasel has yellowish-brown fur.
  9. Mink has special limbs for swimming in the water, whereas the weasel does not possess webbed feet.
  10. Mink prey on animals sometimes those animals are large in comparison to themselves while weasel prey on rodents, snakes, chickens, and eggs.
  11. Mink has strong teeth, and a fast predator catches the neck of prey; conversely, the weasel has strong jaws which crush the skull.
  12. Mink attains white fur in the winter season, which works as insulation material; on the other hand, the color of the fur of the weasel remains the same.
  13. Mink can swim deep and dives up to 16 feet, whereas the weasel cannot swim because they do not have special limbs for swimming.
  14. The metabolism of mink is slow on the flip side; the rate of metabolism of the weasel is greater.
  15. Mink’s fur is used for commercial purposes; on the other hand, the people treat weasels as pests because they steal eggs and chickens from the farms.

Conclusion

The mink and the weasel both belong to the carnivorous Mustelidae family, but mink are large mammals that possess webbed feet and thick fluffy hair. The weasel is a small bulky animal that has brown coated skin and does not possess webbed feet.

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson