The Least Weasel is a species that is native to North America, North Africa and Eurasia. The Least Weasel has a long, slender, elongated body, that has a total length of 4 to 10 inches. All this makes its body extremely flexible. It has blunt muzzled head, no thicker than its neck and its legs and tail are relatively short in length. Their eyes are of a deep black hue and their ears are short and snubby, despite this they have an excellent sense of hearing. Their long, round nose also provides them with a great sense of smell. Their feet are adequately armed with sharp, dark claws for providing protection and the soles are heavily haired assisting this mammal in its daily and nightly hunting routine.
The Least Weasel's coat is of a dirty brown and white color for most of the year but during the winter season, the fur turns to a pure white and brown. This blends in with the color of the snow. The average weight of a male weasel is I.5 to 8.75 pounds while the female averages about 0.8 to 4.3 pounds.
The habitat of the Least Weasel is commonly found in farmlands, hedges , stone walls and in the woods. You will not find these creatures in deep forests, sandy desserts and open spaces. Both sexes have distinct territories, The females may overlap with their own sex but a males territory is only his, he is quite protective over it and may even fight for it if he feels threatened. The male's territory can consist of 40 -45 acres. The least weasel most commonly found living in the deciduous forest of Northeast Asia which spans Korea, Russia and China. The forest of Northeast Asia has hot summers and cold winters.
The Least Weasel is the smallest carnivore in the world. It feeds predominantly on rat- like rodents such as mice , hamsters and gerbils. Its diet also consists of rabbits, birds and poultry. It has sharp teeth and claws to assist in the kill of its prey. It can kill a prey up to 5 times its own size. It usually kills small preys with a bite to the occipital region of the skull or the neck Large prey on the other hand typically die from shock or blood loss. The average daily food intake is about 35 grams which is equivalent to 35% of its body weight.
The least weasel typically mates during the Spring and Summer months with a gestation period lasting from 35-37 days. They usually have 4-10 babies with an average weight of 0.04 to 0.07 ounces. The babies are wrinkled and pink with no abilities. The father weasel has no parental role as he leaves right after mating process. The mother however hunts and care for the young until they are 4 weeks old. At 12 weeks they are fully functional on their own.
The least weasel has four distinctive vocalizations: For defense it emits a shrill wail, when alarmed it is interspersed with short screaming barks and shrieks when provoked. During confrontations between the sexes it emits a high- pitched trilling and when threatened/aggressive exhibits shrieks and lunge movements.
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