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Amazon weasel

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Amazon weasel
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Mustela
M. africana
Binomial name
Mustela africana
Desmarest, 1818
Amazon weasel range

The Amazon weasel (Mustela africana), is a type of weasel. It is native to South America. It is also called the tropical weasel. It was first identified from a museum example that was not labeled well. The museum label said it was from Africa. That is why the scientific name is Mustela africana.[2]

Description[change | change source]

The Amazon weasel is 43 to 52 cm (17 to 20 in) in length. Its tail is 16 to 21 cm (6.3 to 8.3 in) long. They have a long, slender, torso and short legs and ears. They have short fur. It is reddish to dark brown on the upper body, and is pale orange-tan on the underparts. The whiskers are short and there is almost no hair on the bottom of the feet.[2]

Distribution[change | change source]

The Amazon weasel live in the Amazon basin in northern Brazil and eastern Peru and Ecuador. They may also live in southern Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas, as well as northern Bolivia. The region it lives in is covered by tropical rainforest.[2][3]

Biology and Behavior[change | change source]

The Amazon weasel is rarely seen. Little is known about its habits. They eat rodents and other small mammals. They have been reported to make burrows in the stumps of hollow trees.[4] They have been found from sea level to 1,250 m (4,100 ft). They have been reported to swim in rivers or estuaries.[2] Sometimes, they swim far from the shore.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Mustela africana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ramírez-Chaves, Héctor E.; Arango-Guerra, Heidi Liliana; Patterson, Bruce D. (2014-12-18). "Mustela africana (Carnivora: Mustelidae)". Mammalian Species. 46 (917): 110–115. doi:10.1644/917.1. ISSN 0076-3519. S2CID 85949056.
  3. Kristofer Helgen (Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History; Emmons, Louise (2015-03-01). "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Mustela africana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  4. Emmons, Louise. (1997). Neotropical rainforest mammals : a field guide. Feer, François. (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-20719-6. OCLC 35686100.
  5. Tate, G. H. H. (1931-08-01). "Random Observations on Habits of South American Mammals". Journal of Mammalogy. 12 (3): 248–256. doi:10.2307/1373874. ISSN 1545-1542. JSTOR 1373874.