Mink Facts

Mink Facts
Mink is a mammal that belongs to the family of weasels. There are two species of mink, American and European that differ in size, color and type of habitat. American mink inhabits North America and Canada, while European mink inhabits Europe. Mink lives in areas near rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps and marshes, especially if they are rich in dense vegetation. Mink can be also found on numerous farms throughout the world. People raise minks because of their luxurious fur. Water pollution, habitat destruction and diseases are main factors that affect number of minks in the wild. Luckily, their population is still large and they are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Mink Facts:
Mink can reach 15 to 28 inches in length and weigh between 16 and 56 ounces. American minks are larger than European minks.
Mink is covered with soft fur that is usually black or dark brown in color. White marks can be seen on the chin, throat and chest.
Mink has slender body with short legs, long neck, rounded head and small ears. Its tail usually reaches ½ of the body length.
Mink has webbed feet and fur covered with oily substance which prevents soaking of the skin. This type of feet and fur represent adaptation to the life in the water.
Mink is semi-aquatic animal, which means that it spends part of its life in the water and other part on the ground. Mink can swim 1.5 to 1.8 feet in the second.
Mink lives in a den made of tree roots, leaves, stones and branches. Dens are usually located near the water and they are equipped with several entrances. Mink sometimes uses abandoned burrows of beavers or muskrats.
Mink is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
Mink is carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet consists of worms, fish, crayfish, amphibians, birds and small mammals.
Main predators of minks are birds of prey, lynx, foxes, coyotes and humans.
Mink produces smelly substance that is used for self-defense and marking of the territory.
Minks are territorial animals. Males live on territory of 40 acres. Females occupy 2 times smaller territory.
Minks are solitary creatures that gather only for mating. Mating season lasts from February to April.
Female is able to postpone development of fertilized eggs if the weather conditions are bad. Because of that, pregnancy may last from 39 to 74 days. Females can have up to 10 babies, but they usually have 5.
Babies are wrinkled and blind at birth. They depend on the mother's milk during the first 6 weeks of their life. At the age of 8 weeks, young minks are ready for independent life. Sexual maturity will be reached between 12th and 16th month.
Minks can survive 3 to 4 years in the wild and 8 to 10 years in captivity.

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