One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mammal of the weasel family ("Mustelidae"), distinguished by having a long body, short legs, and musky scent glands under the tail.
- ‘Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.’
- ‘Like other mustelids, fishers have a high metabolic rate and are ravenous eaters.’
- ‘Europeans arrived in the early 1800s, bringing with them mustelids (stoats, ferrets, and weasels), cats, and two more species of rats.’
- ‘All mustelids have well-developed anal glands; these are potent weapons of defense in some species such as skunks.’
- ‘Predators of erethizontids include mustelids such as martens, minks, wolverines, ermine, weasels, and fishers.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Mustelidae (plural), from Latin mustela ‘weasel’.
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