Ermine incredibly cute and fluffy animals, representative of the Kunih family. Adult males reach a length of up to 38 centimeters, and the tail length is about 12 centimeters. The paws of the ermine are short, the neck is long, and the muzzle has a triangular shape with small rounded ears. Adult males are weighed up to 260 grams. The color of the ermine depends on the time of the year. In the summer, the color is brownish-red, and the belly is white or slightly yellowish. In the winter period, the ermines acquire a white color. Moreover, this color is characteristic of regions where snow lies at least forty days a year. Only the tip of the ermine does not change its color – He is always black. Female ermine half of males.
To date, scientists identify twentysix subspecies of this mammal, depending on the color of the fur in winter and summer, the size of an adult individual.
Ermine is widespread both on the continent of Eurasia (in moderate, Arctic and subarctic latitudes). Often found in Scandinavian countries, mining systems of Pyrenees, as well as Alp. There is an ermine in Afghanistan, Mongolia. The range spreads to the northeastern regions of China and the northern regions of Japan.
There is an ermine in Canada, in the northern regions of the United States, as well as in Greenland. In Eurasia, this animal can be found in Siberia, as well as the Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and Vologda regions, in Komi and Karelia, and in the territory of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Rodents fall into the main diet, which in their size do not exceed ermine (lemmings, chipmunks, water rats, cigarettes, hamsters). Ermine production overtakes in burrows, and in winter under the snow.
An adult ermine with amazing ease to hunt rabbits, which are several times larger and harder than it. Still in the mining diet, quite large birds, such as hazel grouse, capercaillie and partridges. Ermineostas and their eggs are varnished. The animal is hunted with the help of eyes, and on insects and lizards with their sharp hearing.
If there is not enough food, then the ermine does not disdain with the discharge, and also with amazing lightness steals in people fish and meat prepared for the winter. But an excess of food makes the ermine hunt for reserves that he is not able to digest.
Despite the fact that the ermine belongs to the detachment of predatory mammals in these animals many natural enemies. These are red and gray foxes, American badgers, martens and Ilka (Kunitsa-Rybolov). Predatory birds also pose a threat to ermine.
Also, the ermine enemies are domestic cats. A lot of animals die from parasites – ringworms whose carriers are shrews.
- The mining image can be found in ancient castles of France, for example in Blois. Also Ekhnostai was the emblem of Anna Breton, daughter Claude Frnzuzskaya.
- On one of the most famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci “Portrait of a lady with an ermine”, Ketzelia Gellerani holds in the arms of a snowwhite mining.
- Ermineostals are very bad builders. They absolutely do not know how to build holes for themselves, so they occupy readymade rodents.