Well… Weasels are w’easily recognisable and Stoats are stoatily different! Yes I know it’s an old one and not particularly a good one considering that it’s actually quite difficult to tell the difference between these two similar animals in the ‘real’ world. So, what are the main differences between the two and how can we indentify them?
Although they look similar – one way to tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel is that unlike stoats, weasels do not have a black tip to the tail.
Weasels have a very slim, cylindrical body. There are two sub-species, the Northern European pygmy or snow weasel, and the common weasel, found further south. In general, the body size is smaller in northern populations.
The fur is chestnut brown with white fur below. Northern and Eastern weasels turn white in winter, whilst Southern European varieties stay brown.
In winter, the stoat’s fur turns completely white, except for the black tip to its tail. During this time they are called ‘ermine’.
Stoats have a long slim body and a long tail, the end of which is almost always black. The fur is chestnut brown in summer, with a lighter underside. Males are larger than females.
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