Ermine Facts!

Ermine by Kurayba, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ermine Facts!

Ermine by Kurayba, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The ermine, also called the stoat or the short-tailed weasel, is a cute-looking¬ but ferocious hunter. It is about 6.7 to 13 inches (17 to 33 centimeters) long and has clawed paws that enable it to dig. The ermine’s coat changes with the seasons to camouflage against the surroundings. In the winter it is white so that it can blend in easily with its snowy surroundings, and then it turns brown in the warmer seasons. The ermine can also climb trees very well — it can even climb down tree trunks head first, like a squirrel.


Stoat and rabbit. Image credit: Bob Jones, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It is a carnivorous animal. It generally feeds on small rodents and sometimes birds, insects and eggs. It inflicts a quick bite to the back of the prey’s neck to kill it. When on the hunt, it will check every available burrow for prey. If it is fortunate enough to catch extra prey, it will save the excess food for later when the chance arises.

Ermines inhabits the vacant burrows of prey instead of digging their own. They line the nest chamber with the underfur and skin of the rodent prey they kill.

Ermines are featured in the following books:
25 Polar Animals
101 Facts… Polar Animals

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about ermines. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  • Ermine by WillowPtarmigan
  • Stoat or Ermine by ItsVideos
  • Ermine In Winter by SnyderBassette
  • World’s Deadliest – Stoat Hypnotizes Rabbit by NatGeoWild
  • Stoat dance by Roz Watkins
  • Crazy dance by Sussex Scrapbook


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