According to the University of Michigan's Department of Zoology, the family Mustelidae includes 56 species of weasels, otters, badgers and their relatives. Most members of the family have elongated bodies, short legs and compact heads, but badgers and wolverines have broader builds. Mustelids have very strong jaws and sharp canine teeth they use to kill their prey.Know More
The smallest mustelid species is the least weasel. Least weasels are only about six inches long and rarely exceed one-half pound in weight. By contrast, wolverines reach 70 pounds in weight, while sea otters occasionally reach 100 pounds. All are primarily carnivorous, but some species may eat plant matter from time to time. Large mustelids often hunt and consume the smaller members of the group. Mustelids serve important roles in the ecosystems in which they live and help to regulate rodent and bird populations.
Mustelids live on every continent except Antarctica and Australia. Most forms are terrestrial, but a few, including the otters, minks, martens and fishers, are almost fully aquatic. Some mustelids, such as fishers and martens, are accomplished climbers, while others, such as badgers and wolverines, are capable excavators.
While skunks were formerly considered relatives of the mustelids, molecular evidence has recently been used to move them into the family Mephitidae.Learn more in Mammals
The fox is a member of the taxonomic family of Canidae. The Canidae family is also known as the dog family. Wolves, coyotes, dogs and jackals are also members of the Canidae family.Full Answer >
Although they spend much of their time in the water, hippopotamuses are one of the few animals unable to swim. Their inability to swim is partially due to their density. Instead, they walk or gallop along the bottom of the river.Full Answer >
There are a number of animals that begin with the letter "J," including well-known species like the jaguar, jaeger, jackrabbit and jackal, along with lesser known examples, such as the jacana and jaguarundi. The jacana is a type of water bird native to Africa, whereas the jaguarundi is a feline species of Central America. Jaguarundis have a history of taming; however, it is not recommended to keep them as house pets.Full Answer >
Each species of animal has slightly different behaviors when it comes to eating. Horses, for example, eat by biting off blades of grass with the front teeth and then chewing the grass with the molars. Dogs grab bites of their food and swallow it whole with minimal chewing, and cats eat in a similar manner, picking up pieces of food with the front teeth before swallowing them whole.Full Answer >