Trivia question for Feb-27-2011
Olivia sat down earlier to choose her trivia and within minutes she retuned with facts about these fury little critters. When I asked why she chose these, she commented that many folks still hunt them for their fur and that made her sad. So here is her trivia:
These cute little mammals hunt mostly by night for mice, rats and rabbits, usually killing them with a single bite. They are even able to catch migrating eels as they wriggle across wet grass at night on their way to rivers. These guys are smart hunters too, they frequently seek out common frogs and one by one they spring onto their backs and with one bite, severe their spinal cord. This is done intentionally so to keep their meal alive in their den for a few days before consuming them.
Although they can swim, they prefer not to and will often be seen jumping over water or using natural bridges when they can find them. They have been completely wiped out in certain parts of their natural habitat due to the high demand for their fur. Their lifespan is a mere 6-years and they typically have between 3 to 7 young each year starting at the age of around 9-months.
So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what is one of their main defense tactics when threatened and also tell us which parts of their natural habitat have they been eliminated from.
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to Nonie for being the first with the correct answer and thanks for telling us about the fact that they can scream and hiss, we did not know that. The fur-ball we featured is actually the European Polecat. European Polecats have a unique defense mechanism. If they are attacked, they can actually spray a powerful scent from its anal glands like a skunk.
Due to the high demand for their fur, they have been completely wiped out of England and most of Scotland. Fortunately, they are slowly starting to reappear again from their stronghold in the Welsh area. The European polecat, also known as the black or forest polecat is a species of Mustelid native to western Eurasia and North Africa.
In some parts of England the abandoning of domestic ferrets has led to ferret-polecat hybrids living in the wild. Often hybrids have a less distinct facial mask, light throat patches and lighter fur especially on the undersides. However there are some hybrids that are almost indistinguishable from pure polecats.
Here is more about these little guys: European Polecat
Thanks for playing along 😉