One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small carnivorous mammal of the weasel family which has chestnut fur with white underparts and a black-tipped tail. It is native to both Eurasia and North America and in northern areas the coat turns white in winter.
Mustela erminea, family Mustelidae. North American name: short-tailed weasel
- ‘Mammals such as weasels, foxes, stoats and especially roe deer can wander safely without the risk of being killed by traffic.’
- ‘As an ecologist and environmental writer, one of my main interests is to understand the damage that relatively recent introductions - from stoats to wasps to possums - have wreaked on native plants and animals.’
- ‘Scientists are attempting to save birds like this one by translocating them to offshore islands free of introduced predators like rats, cats, stoats, and weasels.’
- ‘A cousin of mink, martens, otters, stoats, weasels and distantly related to seals, badgers are one of our oldest indigenous animals, whose fossil remains have been found to belong to the same era as mammoths.’
- ‘Now the shadows were coming into focus; they were a motley rabble of creatures, ranging from otters to voles, stoats and squirrels, and even a few moles.’
- ‘The robe is trimmed with ermine, which is the white winter coat of the stoat in northern regions of Europe.’
- ‘Other animals spotted in Greater Manchester include otters, stoats and weasels.’
- ‘Cats, rats, stoats, possums, and ferrets have had drastic effects on native plants and bird species, many of which are flightless and have few defenses against the invaders.’
- ‘We actually want to get rid of weasels, stoats, and possums so that the beautiful birdlife of this country can flourish.’
- ‘Rats, stoats, ferrets, cats, and possums have decimated native animals that were unaccustomed to mammalian predators.’
- ‘They are carnivores like the stoat, weasel, otter and badger.’
- ‘In the mainland island in the Nelson Lakes National Park the focus is to be on a whole range of pests - wasps, possums, rodents and mustelids (mainly stoats, but also ferrets and weasels), deer and feral cats.’
- ‘Superfluous killing has been reported for a diverse group of animals, including zooplankton, stoats and weasels, damselfly naiads, wolves, predaceous mites, and spiders.’
- ‘In addition to the birds, there are numerous stoats, weasels, possums, and other things there.’
- ‘Ten species of waterfowl nest around the lake; kestrels and buzzards can be spotted in the woodland; and brown hares, stoats, weasels, grey and red squirrels can also be seen.’
- ‘The Tracking Mammals Partnership also aims to carry out surveys of otters, stoats, weasels and bats to try to determine whether their populations are declining and how they can be helped to thrive.’
- ‘What is the difference between weasels and stoats in winter?’
- ‘To minimize the risk of predation, which was mainly by stoats, Mustela erminea, and polecats, Mustela putorius, nest visits were kept to a minimum.’
- ‘The production will tell the classic story of Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger trying to overcome the evil ferrets, weasels and stoats who threaten to overrun the riverbank.’
- ‘They include pine marten, wildcat, stoat and weasel as well as golden eagles, merlin, peregrine falcon, golden plover and in time black grouse and capercaillie.’
Late Middle English: of unknown origin.
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