Ermine are one of the smallest members of the weasel family, averaging between 8″ and 12″ in length. However, their physical size and weight (less than 1 pound) should not be mistaken for their ability to take down their prey. They are carnivores and can take down a full grown rabbit!
They are native to the northern climate, here in North America and Europe. We see them infrequently in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – because they blend in with the landscape. This critter’s fur is light brown and white in summer; and ALL white in winter… except for the tail, which is black-tipped all year.
An interesting fact: During the reign of Edward III (1327–77) of England, the wearing of ermine was restricted to members of the royal family only. State robes were constructed in such a way that the rank and position of the wearer could be determined by the presence / absence / disposition of the black spots. (Now, artificial fur is used in the UK.)
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