Weasels can be found in various habitats in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. While weasels look unique with their short legs on slender, long bodies, there are actually several different species of animals like weasels that we’ll learn about in this article.
They’re small, but weasels are skilled predators that can consume 40-percent of their body weight in a single day. These solitary creatures are most active during dawn and dusk, but are also known to hunt throughout the day and night.
13 Animals Like Weasels
Weasels themselves are interesting creatures with long, slender bodies. It is this body type that often causes confusion for many people, since a lot of other animals, such as ferrets and minks, share this appearance.
Ferrets are a popular pet that are often mistaken for weasels due to their similar body types. While they are a member of the weasel family, ferrets are more closely related to polecats than they are to weasels.
Ferrets do have a behavior similar to weasels, and they are both carnivores with shorter digestive tracts and higher metabolisms. They are, however, more social creatures than weasels, and prefer to live in groups.
The mink is a relative to the weasel, though it is a semi-aquatic creature found near streams, ponds, and lakes. Like the weasel, minks have long slender bodies with short legs and long tails and they typically hunt during dawn and dusk. Unlike the weasel, however, minks need to live near bodies of water and they feast on frogs, fish, waterfowl, eggs, and crustaceans.
Both the sea otter and the river otter are members of the weasel family, with the sea otter being the largest. Otters may not look closely related to weasels, but they do have a similar long body type that is a bit stocky.
There are many differences between otters and weasels, however, as both the sea otter and the river otter are aquatic animals and a water source is a part of their home. Unlike the weasel, otters are also more social creatures, preferring to live in groups.
Martens have that same similar weasel appearance, with the long body, pointy face, and short legs. They are also members of the weasel family and it makes sense that they would share many of the same traits.
Like weasels, martens prefer to live alone and consume a carnivorous diet. Martens are larger than weasels, and they look more like a mink due to their fur color and size.
Badgers and weasels are both a member of the Mustelidae family, and they are both carnivores. However, the badger is much larger than the weasel, and has an aggressive reputation. Badgers are also not as widespread as weasels.
Wolverines are in the same family as weasels, and have a somewhat similar appearance with their long stocky body. Wolverines are, however, larger than weasels and much more ferocious. Some people describe the appearance of a wolverine as that of a bear crossed with a weasel.
The closest relative to the weasel is the stoat. These animals, which are also called ermine, are a bit bigger than the weasel, but have the same long body, long tail, and short legs.
They are also not as widespread as weasels, found mainly in northern areas. Both the stout and the weasel share the same type of diet of small vertebrate.
8. European Polecats
European polecats have that same weasel-like body, but are larger and less slender. They do share a similar diet and are more closely related to ferrets than weasels.
Another difference between the two is that polecats have markings on their faces that resemble a raccoon. They also mostly hunt at night and are more nocturnal than weasels.
Fishers are often confused for weasels due to their long, slender body. While they do have a similar body shape, fishers are much longer and weigh more than weasels. The average weight and height of a weasel is 4 to 8 ounces and less than 10 inches long, while the fisher can weigh up to 12 pounds and measure at almost 4 feet long.
At one point, skunks were actually considered a member of the weasel family. However, after much DNA research, scientists have concluded that skunks are a member of their own family known as Mephitidae. If you look at a skunk, however, you can see why some would assume it is related to weasels.
Like weasels, skunks have stout and short bodies that are a little on the long side. They are also most active during dusk and dawn, which is something that weasels share with these stinky creatures.
Unlike most weasels, however, skunks have the ability to spray noxious liquids from scent glands. While weasels also have scent glands, most species cannot spray them as a defense mechanism like skunks do.
Tayras are another member of the weasel family that shares the same long slender body, long tail, and short legs that are a common trait for many of the creatures on our list. This forest dwelling animal is native to the Americas and have a omnivores diet. Unlike the weasel, however, tayras are typically active at night or on overcast days when it is cloudy.
12. Honey Badgers
Despite their name, honey badgers are more closely related to weasels than they are to badgers. Like weasels, honey badgers have a long body and long tail, but at a much larger size. These seemingly harmless-looking animals are also known for their fierce and savage personalities.
Despite being related to weasels, honey badgers have a different diet, one that is more omnivorous. They consume berries, roots, and plant bulbs, as well as insects and other small vertebrates.
Even though it is more closely related to fishers, sables look similar to weasels due to their long, slender bodies. They also share similar diets, but sables can and will feast on small weasels if necessary.
Another similarity is that both sables and weasels are active during the dusk and dawn hours. However, sables are not as widespread as weasels and they are not as small.