11 Trending Words of 2014
1910, from Modern Latin Mustelidae, taken as a genus name by Linnaeus (1758), from Latin mustela "weasel," possibly related to mus "mouse" (see mouse (n.)). Tucker tentatively suggests *mus-ters-la "mouse harrier" and Klein notes that the weasel was identified in antiquity as "the catcher of mice."
Any of various small to midsize carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, usually having long, slender bodies, short legs, and well-developed anal scent glands. The pelts of many mustelids have been important for use in clothing. Weasels, skunks, badgers, wolverines, ferrets, mink, martens, and otters are mustelids.
any of 54 species of ferrets, polecats, badgers, martens, otters, the wolverine, and other members of the weasel family. Historically, skunks have also been included in Mustelidae, but genetic analyses suggest that they belong to a separate family of their own (Mephitidae). Mustelids are fur-bearing carnivores that inhabit terrestrial and aquatic regions throughout the world, except Australia, Antarctica, and most oceanic islands. Many, such as the American mink (Mustela vison), are trapped or raised commercially for their pelts.