|Lesser grison range|
Lesser grisons have a long, slender body, short legs, and a bushy tail. They have a long neck and a small head with a flattened forehead and rounded ears. They are smaller than the closely related greater grison, with a head-body length of 27 to 52 cm (11 to 20 in) and a tail 14 to 19 cm (5.5 to 7.5 in) long. Adults weigh anything from 1.2 to 2.4 kg (2.6 to 5.3 lb). Females are slighter smaller and more slender than males.
The top of the head, the back and flanks, and the tail have coarse black guard hairs with buff-coloured tips over a softer undercoat, giving them a grizzled greyish colour. The remainder of the body is black or nearly so, apart from a pale buff-coloured stripe running from the forehead to the shoulders along the lower margin of the grey furred area. The feet are webbed, with five toes ending in sharp, curved, claws.
Lesser grisons are found throughout most of southern South America from sea level to as high as 4,200 metres (13,800 ft) elevation. They are found in a wide range of habitats, although generally near water, including grasslands, forests, scrub, and mountain meadows. They are also known to inhabit agricultural land and pasture in some areas.
Four subspecies are recognised:
Lesser grisons are carnivorous, feeding on small to medium rodents, as well as rabbits, birds, frogs, lizards, and snakes. They are among the major predators on cavies, including wild guinea pigs, and also of nesting grebes.
They are semi-plantigrade, walking partly on the soles of their feet, and, despite the webbing, their feet are adapted more for running and climbing than for swimming. They possess anal scent glands that spray a noxious chemical similar to, but probably weaker than, that of skunks. They are monogamous, hunting together when raising their litters of two to five young.
Lesser grisons hunt primarily during the day, locating their prey at least partly by scent. They are either solitary, or live in small family groups of parents and offspring, which travel together in single file. They are said to be particularly fierce, and to play with their food for up to 45 minutes before eating it. During the night, they sleep in hollow trees or natural crevices, or else in excavated burrows. Burrows may be as deep as 4 m (13 ft), and have entrances obscured by leaves.
Lesser grisons can be tamed if raised from a young age. They were used in the past to hunt wild chinchillas, pursuing them down burrows in a similar manner to ferrets, although chinchillas are now too rare for this to be viable. They are still sometimes kept to control rodents on farms, although they may also be hunted, especially where they are thought to prey on domestic poultry. They have also been reported to be amongst the most frequent species among mammalian roadkill in Brazil.
The bodies of lesser grisons have also been used as magical charms in Bolivia, where their pelts are stuffed with wool and decorated with ribbons and paper to be used in ritual offerings to Pachamama. One apparent sacrificial burial from Argentina has been dated to 1,420 BP. It was interred together with human remains, wearing a decorated collar, placed on an animal pelt and associated with numerous other funerary goods and bodies of mice.
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Egyptian weasel
The Egyptian weasel (Mustela subpalmata) is a species of weasel that lives in northern Egypt. It is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List.Eupleres
Eupleres is a genus of two species of mongoose-like euplerid mammal native to Madagascar. They are primarily terrestrial and consume mainly invertebrates.Ferret-badger
Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.
Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)
Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)Galerella
Galerella is a genus of the mongoose family (Herpestidae) native to Africa and commonly called the slender mongooses.There are four or five species in this genus, with more than 30 subspecies.
Four of the species have long been established:
A recent addition is the black mongoose, Galerella nigrata, which now is considered a separate species by many scientists, following genetic analysis. It was previously seen as a variant of Galerella sanguinea.Galictis
A grison , also known as a South American wolverine, is any mustelid in the genus Galictis. Native to Central and South America, the genus contains two extant species: the greater grison (Galictis vittata), which is found widely in South America, through Central America to southern Mexico; and the lesser grison (Galictis cuja), which is restricted to the southern half of South America.Greater grison
The greater grison (Galictis vittata), is a species of mustelid native to Southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.Ictonychinae
Ictonychinae is a subfamily of the mammal family Mustelidae found mainly in the Neotropics (3 species) and Africa (3 species), with one Eurasian member. It includes the grisons, Patagonian weasel, striped polecats, African striped weasel and marbled polecat, respectively. These genera were formerly included within a paraphyletic definition of the mustelid subfamily Mustelinae.
Most members have a mask-like bar or larger dark marking across their face; the African representatives of the group are striped. A defense mechanism common to the group is use of a chemical spray similar to (but not necessarily as strong as) that of skunks.Lagunas de Mejía National Sanctuary
Lagunas de Mejía National Sanctuary (Santuario Nacional Lagunas de Mejía) is a protected area on the coastal plain of Peru, in Islay Province, Arequipa, in the mouth of the Tambo River. It is a sanctuary for migratory and resident birds, and was designated a Ramsar site in 1992.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mephitis (genus)
The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.Mustelidae
The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Narrow-striped mongoose
The narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a member of the family Eupleridae, subfamily Galidiinae and endemic to Madagascar. It inhabits the Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western and southwestern Madagascar, where it lives from sea level to about 125 m (410 ft) between the Tsiribihina and Mangoky rivers. In Malagasy it is called bokiboky (pronounced "Boo-ky Boo-ky").Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Pusa
Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.
The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.
Only the Caspian seal is endangered.Quiapo, Chile
Quiapo (Mapudungun; cuya=lesser grison and mapu=land) is a place in Arauco Province of Chile that is 25 kilometers to the southwest of Arauco and about 25 kilometers to the north and east of the port of Lebu to the east of the Bahia del Carnero and 6.4 kilometers west of the small town of Villa Alegre. It was a low mountainous and thickly wooded area, that contained among its contours arable lands that had the same name. It is also the location where two streams come together to form the headwaters of the Quiapo River.
In the Arauco War, the hills at the confluence of the two streams was the location of the fortress built by the Mapuche Toqui Lemucaguin or Caupolicán the younger, to block the northward advance of García Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete into the Arauco area and site of the 1558 Battle of Quiapo.
In 1566 the governor Rodrigo de Quiroga built a small fort on this site that was destroyed by the Mapuche several times and abandoned some years later. The name, altered to Quiapo and Quipco by the Spanish, was originally the Mapudungun Cuyapu or Cuyamapu, meaning cuya, weasel and mapu land.Speothos
Speothos is a genus of canid found in Central and South America. The genus includes the living bush dog, Speothos venaticus, and an extinct Pleistocene species, Speothos pacivorus. Unusually, the fossil species was identified and named before the extant species was discovered, with the result that the type species of Speothos is S. pacivorus.
Extant Carnivora species