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ucme's avatar

What is the difference between a weasel & a stoat?

Asked by ucme (50021points) November 25th, 2019

My gramdma would say one is weasely wecognised, while the other is stoatally different”
I suspect that’s not entirely accurate however, so what gives?

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18 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think they are the same.Mink too.
I saw a mink with a bird in it’s mouth last year. I immediately thought that it could also be a stoat or a weasel. It was a tough decision.

ucme's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Apparently they are seperate entities lol, both can be found in the english countryside & while they are remarkably similar looking, there are subtle differences.
One countryside resident described one as “sausage like” & the other as “a cucumber shape”
Obviously he wasn’t particularly qualified :D

janbb's avatar

I don’t believe we have stoats in this country, at least not in my part of it. I think of stoats as more light colored and plumper and weasels as darker and longer. My Ex was once kicking his legs wildly in the night and when I woke him up he said, “Stoats were biting my legs.”

ucme's avatar

It’s the same with ferrets & or pole cats, just have one name damnit!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ucme-The stoat, also known as the ermine, short-tailed weasel or simply the weasel in Ireland where the least weasel does not live, is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae native to Eurasia… Wikipedia….

ucme's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Ahh, but then this says different!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ucme-Wot! So if he has an Irish accent, it s a stoat?
Sting wrote a song about one that lived in England & moved to the US—and that is when the stoat became a weasel.

seawulf575's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I agree, but stoat generally applies only to the ermine in its summer coat…the brown drab colors. In winter when it goes pure white with a black tip on the tail, it is called the ermine. At least that was how I learned them. Interesting side note, I had a killer cat that killed two of these beauties in their winter coats.
@ucme I think part of the problem we are having with this question is cultural. I was trying to figure out why you would see a difference and came across this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel

It talks about how in the UK, “weasel” refers to the smallest of the genus Mustela which we call a “least weasel”. In the US, “weasel” is a term used to describe any of the genus.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@seawulf575 – I did know the ermine was white for I have a bathrobe with those tails all over it.—it goes well with my crown—XD Your cat must have been good as they are fierce!
My friend’s uncle ran a hunt club & a mink got in and wiped out a boat load of pheasant.

ucme's avatar

@seawulf575 Yeah, I think my link explains everything, maybe if I’d found that first, there’d have been no need for my question.
Although to be fair, think of the fun I’d have missed out on!

ragingloli's avatar

I do not know.
What is the difference between a dog and a poodle?

seawulf575's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille This cat had 6 claws on each of its front paws. That pushed one claw off and to the side and it worked like opposable thumbs. It was hand’s down the best hunter I have ever seen. I watched it charge across about 20’ of open ground, jump up on the pole of the bird feeder and reach up and over the ledge to grab a bird off. It had to charge the open ground because the previous owners of the house had put the bird feeder next to a big blue spruce. The cat would sit under the branches of the tree and when a bird would land nearby, we would watch a gray paw reach out and grab the bird, like a kid grabbing a lollipop. It wouldn’t even disturb other birds in the area. I thought that was unfair so I cut the branches up to a level of 6’ so I could walk under them and he couldn’t hide under them. He killed mice, moles, voles, the ermines, birds, rabbits, and even a few snakes. He brought us all sorts of kills as homage, I guess. He kept the head’s as trophies, though. Except the ermine and the rabbits.

ucme's avatar

A poodle is a skinny sheep!

LadyMarissa's avatar

They are the same genus. Actually, a stoat is one of the species of a weasel. IF there is white on its back, it’s a stoat. Stoats have a longer tail with the tip staying black year round. Unless they’re standing side by side, I doubt that you’d know which has the longer tail; so from the best that I can tell, the biggest difference is the white back or tail with a black tip.

ucme's avatar

So grandma was indeed wrong.
One is not weasely wecognised & the other is far from stoatally different. She had fun saying it though bless her.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Grandmas are NEVER wrong…just cute as a bug in a rug!!! ;}

ucme's avatar

This is so true :-)

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