Least Weasel v Stoat
Least Weasel - Mustela nivalis
The least weasel (Mustela nivalis) is the smallest member of the Mustelidae (as well as the smallest of the Carnivora), native to Eurasia, North America and North Africa, though it has been introduced elsewhere. It is classed as Least Concern by the IUCN, due to its wide distribution and presumably large population. Despite its small size, the least weasel is a fierce hunter, capable of killing a rabbit 5-10 times its own weight. The least weasel has a thin, greatly elongated and extremely flexible body with a small, yet elongated, blunt-muzzled head which is no thicker than the neck. The eyes are large, bulging and dark coloured. The legs and tail are relatively short, the latter constituting less than half its body length. The feet are armed with sharp, dark claws, and the soles are heavily haired.[Average body length in males is 130–260 mm, while females average 114–204 mm. The tail measures 12–87 mm in males and 17–60 mm in females. Males weigh 36-250 grams, while females weigh 29.5-117 grams.
Stoat (Short-tailed Weasel) - Mustela erminea
The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the ermine or short-tailed weasel, is a species of Mustelid native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. The dimensions of the stoat are variable, but not to the extent as the least weasel. Unusually among the Carnivora, the size of stoats tends to decrease proportionally with latitude, in contradiction to Bergmann’s Rule. There is pronounced sexual dimorphism in size, with males being 1.5-2.0 times the weight of females. On average, males measure 187–325 mm (7.4–12.8 in) in body length, while females measure 170–270 mm (6.7–11 in). The tail measures 75–120 mm (3.0–4.7 in) in males and 65–106 mm (2.6–4.2 in) in females. In males, the hind foot measures 40.0–48.2 mm (1.57–1.90 in), while in females it is 37.0–47.6 mm (1.46–1.87 in). The height of the ear measures 18.0–23.2 mm (0.71–0.91 in) in males and 14.0–23.3 mm (0.55–0.92 in). The skulls of males measure 39.3–52.2 mm (1.55–2.06 in) in length, while those of females measure 35.7–45.8 mm (1.41–1.80 in). Males weigh 258 grams (9.1 oz), while females weigh less than 180 grams (6.3 oz). As with the least weasel, mouse-like rodents predominate in the stoat’s diet. However, unlike the least weasel which almost exclusively feeds on small voles, the stoat regularly preys on larger rodent and lagomorph species. In Russia, its prey includes rodents such as European water voles, common hamsters, pikas and others, which it overpowers in their burrows. Prey species of secondary importance include small birds, fish and shrews and, more rarely, amphibians, lizards and insects.
Written by Taipan - SOURCE