What Are Ferrets Related To?
Ferrets are small, furry, carnivorous mammals in the same family as the weasel. They are usually four to eight inches in size and have a playful, inquisitive nature. Their scientific name is Mustela putorius.
Ferrets are part of the Mustelidae family, which includes two subgroups – the Mustelinae and the Moelinae. They are most closely related to the European polecat, also known as the black-footed ferret, and they share a most recent common ancestor with them. However, they are not the same species and have diverged in evolutionary history.
Due to their close relationship to polecats, ferrets have a similar thin, cylindrical body shape. During the summer months, ferrets will have thick, silky coats of fur consisting of a warm cinnamon color on the back and streaks of white on the underside. They typically weigh anywhere from 600 to 900 grams and can range up to 500mm in length.
Ferrets have a reputation for being mischievous and energetic. Despite their small size, they love to explore and investigate the world around them and will often seek out adventure and fun activities to participate in. Unlike some other small pets, ferrets are highly social and are known to bond with their owners, sometimes becoming quite attached.
Ferrets are one of the few domesticated animals that require specialized husbandry and care. This includes regular nail clipping, health checks, and regular interaction with humans. They also require a special diet to thrive, which includes both vegetables and proteins to keep them in optimal health.
In conclusion, ferrets are highly social small mammals that are part of the Mustelidae family with their closest relatives being the European polecats. They are highly active and inquisitive animals, who require specialized husbandry and care to stay healthy and happy. They can bond strongly with their owners and make great pets for those who are able to provide them with a loving home.