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Animals That Look Like Ferrets

Came across this great article on Chewy.com that really helps clarify what a mustelid IS and ISN’T, and how that wild creature you saw in your yard is definitely not a ferret! Read the full text here.

With about 57 species of mustelids, the scientific classification that includes ferrets, people often confuse many different species for ferrets. All mustelids are warm-blooded, carnivorous mammals with long, tubular bodies, short legs and thick necks. 

The Following Are Mustelids

  • Otters – river and sea
  • Badgers
  • Mink
  • Weasels
  • Martens
  • Fishers
  • Polecats
  • Wolverine
  • Ferret (the only domestic mustelid)

The Following Are NOT Mustelids

  • Mongoose, including dwarf mongoose and meerkats. While they also have anal scent glands and are similarly shaped, the 34 members of the Herpestidae family are native to Africa, southern Asia and southern Europe.
  • Skunks! In recent years, they were officially classified as Mephitidae. Most of the 13 different species range from Canada to the northern parts of South America. They, of course, have the most developed scent glands of all!
  • Civets (aka civet cats) and fossas (known from the “Madagascar” animated films) are Viverrids of the family Viverridae. They are native to dense forests of Africa, Asia and some islands.