Fun Mountain Weasel Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Oct 20, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
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These mountain weasel facts will absolutely make you fall in love with this adorable animal! Make sure you read on and share with friends!

If you are on the lookout for a cute animal that will absolutely make you gush at how adorable it is, then look no further than the mountain weasel!

These animals are often compared to long springs due to how long and stretchy their lithe bodies are, but do not let that fool you! These social creatures are fun-loving, small, and very fast at avoiding predators of all kinds.

You can easily spy on one of these little friends in the high mountains of Europe, particularly the UK, where they are most highly concentrated.

They are also not afraid of humans, though they can be wary of other animals. This means that if you do ever run into one of them, be sure to say hello because they will love the company you provide!

However, keep in mind not to disturb them too much, and you are set up for a delightful experience meeting these wonderful mountain weasels.

Do you love reading about varied animals across the Earth? Then you will love knowing all about this mountainous weasel. If your curiosity has been piqued, do not forget to check out other wonderful creatures like the weasel and muskrat too.

Mountain Weasel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mountain weasel?

The mountain weasel (Mustela altaica) is a type of weasel. It is also known as the Altai weasel, pale weasel, or solongoi.

What class of animal does a mountain weasel belong to?

The Mustela altaica belongs to a class of mammals.

How many mountain weasels are there in the world?

The population of Pale weasel Altai is unknown. Weasels can be found in many different ranges of habitats over most of the UK, and their population is estimated to be around 450,000.

Where does a mountain weasel live?

The Altai weasel, a near-threatened species, lives in the woods. It typically lives in the UK, though it is also spotted very frequently in Scotland, Ireland, and the fringes of countries like France and Italy.

What is a mountain weasel's habitat?

Mountain weasels mainly prefer high-altitude habitats, including stony tundra and green woods. Rock crevices, abandoned burrows, and tree trunks are common places for this animal to relax. Their habitat range could be in close proximity to human settlements.

Who do mountain weasels live with?

The mountain weasel, Mustela altaica, species is mostly solitary except at the time of mating. If we talk about behavior, the mountain weasel is primarily nocturnal and is extremely fast and nimble, capable of swimming, climbing, and running. The short legs and long bodies of these animals enable them to be extremely agile.

How long does a mountain weasel live?

The lifespan of a mountain weasel (genus: Mustela) is not known. But typically, weasel species can live up to 10 years, though most only live three to five years.

How do they reproduce?

Although the Altai weasel's mating method and reproduction are unclear, other animals in the same genus are polygynous: one male and several females. They only reproduce yearly, and males compete fiercely for females. Mating takes place around February-March, and generally, the young are born during May.

The gestation period takes 30–49 days. But the duration of gestation and childbirth can be adjusted because the species is able to defer implantation.

The female can reproduce, and the egg gets fertilized; however, the egg doesn't adhere to the endometrium inside the uterus of the female to prolong the pregnancy until resources to support the pregnancy and nourish the young become available.

The litter size is one to eight young. The young are conceived altricially, in need of food, and reliant on the mother.

The young's eyes remain closed, and they haven't well-developed fur. Lactation will last around two months, following which the young grow self-sufficient but stay with their siblings until fall. When these young become slightly less than a year of age, they become able for reproduction in the next season.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of mountain weasel Mustela altaica species is Near Threatened listed by IUCN due to their significant decline.

Mountain Weasel Fun Facts

What do mountain weasels look like?

The summer coat has gray or gray-brown fur with a hint of bright yellow, whereas the mountain weasel winter coat has a deep yellow fur with a hint of brown. The underbelly coat of both seasons is a pale yellow to creamy white.

Between the muzzle and ears, the top head is typically a deeper gray-brown color. It's possible that the tail is more rufous compared to the back. Summer fur resembles gray through gray-brown in color, with a hint of light yellow. The lips appear white, and the vibrissae on the chin are grayish-brown.

Sharing the same genus and family of weasel, the stoat has a small body too. The stoat is a kind of weasel that is comparable to a weasel except for the stoat's tail.

It has a bushy tail with a black tip. While the color of the fur coat varies with the winter and summer seasons, the black point on the tail does not.

Short Tailed Weasel

*Please note that this is an image of a Short Tailed Weasel, not a Mountain Weasel. If you have an image of a Mountain Weasel, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

They are definitely some of the cutest animals off the block! Not only are they very squishy and soft to hold, but they also have adorable, large eyes and will be an absolute delight to cuddle with.

How do they communicate?

Mountain weasel species communicate audibly and visually with one another. They also use sounds to warn of potential predators, defend their territories, and communicate when breeding. They make a loud chirping sound and expel a foul, smelly odor from their anal glands whenever threatened.

How big is a mountain weasel?

The length range of pale yellow weasel Altai is 8.5–11 in (21.59-27.94 cm). While the length range of the long-tailed weasel (species of Colorado mountain weasel ) is 9-12 in (22.86-30.48 cm), it is slightly bigger in length than the Altai weasel animals.

How fast can a mountain weasel run?

The running speed of mountain weasels is around 15 mph (24.1 kph).

How much does a mountain weasel weigh?

Mountain weasels males weigh up to 8-12 oz (227-340 g). But females are insignificantly smaller with a weight of up to 4-8 oz (113-227 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female Altai mountain weasel species don't have particular names.

What would you call a baby mountain weasel?

The baby of Rocky mountain weasel has no specific title. However, juvenile weasels are known as kits or kittens.

What do they eat?

The Altai weasels, which live in tree trunks and abandoned burrows, are severe carnivores that feed mainly on voles and pikas. Their diet also includes rabbits, muskrats, small birds, ground squirrels, frogs, lizards, insects, and fish. Indonesian mountain weasels mostly eat small rodents.

Are they poisonous?

This animal with a small body, a mainly solitary mammal of Asia that finds its habitat at high altitude, is not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

People are not a threat to these weasel species, and they normally avoid human interaction. They may possess cute small faces and tiny bodies from a pet's perspective, but they are initially wild animals. Weasels are more vicious than other pets.

Hence no other pets are allowed. It is possible that stepping on them will induce them to bite, hurting youngsters. As a pet weasel, it's also prohibited in several countries.

Did you know...

Weasels are frequently included as characters in novels, as well as in children's music and films. They are excellent acrobats and among the most acrobatic animals on the planet.

Weasels are indeed the world's tiniest carnivorous mammals.

Weasels can dance for a similar purpose we do, and it is indeed fun.

How do weasels defend themselves?

This animal has excellent vision. It also uses sound to alert each other of potential predators, defend its territories and offspring, especially when mating. It makes a loud chirping sound and expels a foul, smelly odor via its anal glands if threatened.

Are mountain weasels endangered?

As per the IUCN, the mountain weasel endangerment status is Near Threatened because it is thought to be in significant decline that needs monitoring mainly due to habitat as well as resource degradation. The absence of prey species is the most serious threat to this species.

Although there is no special conservation policy or project for the Altai weasel, several other projects involve it or benefit it. The Kazakhstan nature reserve, for example, preserves a wide range of animals. Weasels are also helped by programs that conserve pikas and other smaller animals which are eaten by the weasels.

Another option could be setting aside corridors between grazing grounds for the weasel to travel across or between forests to grab their prey without disrupting the livestock's grazing fields.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Piute ground squirrel facts and fennec fox facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable weasel coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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