Weasel

A weasel /ˈwiːzəl/ is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae. The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets and minks. Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs. The family Mustelidae (which also includes badgers, otters, and wolverines) is often referred to as the "weasel family". In the UK, the term "weasel" usually refers to the smallest species, the least weasel (M. nivalis).[1]

Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in),[2] females being smaller than the males, and usually have red or brown upper coats and white bellies; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 34 to 52 mm (1.3 to 2.0 in) long.[2]

Weasels feed on small mammals and have from time to time been considered vermin because some species took poultry from farms or rabbits from commercial warrens. They do, on the other hand, eat large numbers of rodents. They can be found all across the world except for Antarctica, Australia, and neighbouring islands.

Weasel
Mustela nivalis -British Wildlife Centre-4
Least weasel (Mustela nivalis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: Mustela
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Mustela erminea
Species
Mustela range
Mustela range
Хорек
Domesticated ferret (Mustela putorius furo) in Melitopol Zoo, Ukraine

Terminology

The English word "weasel" was originally applied to one species of the genus, the European form of the least weasel (Mustela nivalis). This usage is retained in British English, where the name is also extended to cover several other small species of the genus. However, in technical discourse and in American usage, the term "weasel" can refer to any member of the genus, or to the genus as a whole. Of the 17 extant species currently classified in the genus Mustela, 10 have "weasel" in their common names. Among those that do not are the stoat, the polecats, the ferret, and the European mink. The American mink and the extinct sea mink were commonly included in this genus as Mustela vison and Mustela macrodon, respectively, but in 1999 were moved to the genus Neovison.[3]

Species

The following information is according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.

Mustela africana Desmarest, 1800 Amazon weasel South America
Mustela altaica Pallas, 1811 Mountain weasel Europe & Northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758 Stoat Europe & Northern Asia
North America
Southern Asia (non-native)
New Zealand (non-native)
Mustela eversmannii Lesson, 1827 Steppe polecat Europe & Northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela felipei Izor and de la Torre, 1978 Colombian weasel South America
Mustela frenata Lichtenstein, 1831 Long-tailed weasel Middle America
North America
South America
Mustela itatsi Temminck, 1844 Japanese weasel Japan & Sakhalin Is. (Russia)
Mustela kathiah Hodgson, 1835 Yellow-bellied weasel Southern Asia
Mustela lutreola (Linnaeus, 1761) European mink Europe
Mustela lutreolina Robinson and Thomas, 1917 Indonesian mountain weasel Southern Asia
Mustela nigripes (Audubon and Bachman, 1851) Black-footed ferret North America
Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766 Least weasel Europe, Northern Asia
North America
Southern Asia (non-native)
New Zealand (non-native)
Mustela nudipes Desmarest, 1822 Malayan weasel Southern Asia
Mustela putorius Linnaeus, 1758 European polecat
Domesticated ferret (ssp. furo)
Europe, northern Asia
New Zealand (ssp. furo) (non-native)
Mustela sibirica Pallas, 1773 Siberian weasel Europe, northern Asia
Southern Asia
Mustela strigidorsa Gray, 1855 Back-striped weasel Southern Asia
Mustela subpalmata Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833 Egyptian weasel northern Egypt

1 Europe and northern Asia division excludes China.

Hybrids in this genus include the polecat–ferret hybrid and the polecat–mink hybrid.

Cultural meanings

Weasels have been assigned a variety of cultural meanings.

In Greek culture, a weasel near one's house is a sign of bad luck, even evil, "especially if there is in the household a girl about to be married", since the animal (based on its Greek etymology) was thought to be an unhappy bride who was transformed into a weasel[4] and consequently delights in destroying wedding dresses.[5] In neighboring Macedonia, however, weasels are generally seen as an omen of good fortune.[4][5]

In early-modern Mecklenburg, Germany, amulets from weasels were deemed to have strong magic; the period between August 15 and September 8 was specifically designated for the killing of weasels.[6]:255

In Montagne Noire (France), Ruthenia, and the early medieval culture of the Wends, weasels were not meant to be killed.[6]

In North America, Native Americans (in the region of Chatham County, North Carolina) deemed the weasel to be a bad sign; crossing its path meant a "speedy death".[7] According to Daniel Defoe also, meeting a weasel is a bad omen.[8] In English-speaking areas, weasel can be an insult, noun or verb, for someone regarded as sneaky, conniving or untrustworthy. Similarly, "weasel words" is a critical term for words or phrasing that are vague, misleading or equivocal.

Japanese folklore

Mustela itatsi201602-02
Japanese weasel

In Japan, weasels (鼬、鼬鼠 itachi) were seen as yōkai (causing strange occurrences). According to the encyclopedia Wakan Sansai Zue from the Edo period, a nate of weasels would cause conflagrations, and the cry of a weasel was considered a harbinger of misfortune. In the Niigata Prefecture, the sound of a nate of weasels making a rustle resembled six people hulling rice, so was called the "weasel's six-person mortar", and it was an omen for one's home to decline or flourish. It is said that when people chase after this sound, the sound stops.[9]

They are also said to shapeshift like the fox (kitsune) or tanuki, and the nyūdō-bōzu told about in legends in the Tōhoku region and the Chūbu region are considered weasels in disguise, and they are also said to shapeshift into ōnyūdō and little monks.[9]

In the collection of depictions, the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Sekien Toriyama, they were depicted under the title 鼬, but they were read not as "itachi", but rather as "ten",[10] and "ten" were considered to be weasels that have reached one hundred years of age and became yōkai that possessed supernatural powers.[11] Another theory is that when weasels reach several hundred years of age, they become mujina (badger).[12]

In Japanese weasels are called iizuna or izuna (飯綱) and in the Tōhoku Region and Shinshu, it was believed that there were families that were able to use a certain practice to freely use kudagitsune as iizuna-tsukai or kitsune-mochi. It is said that Mount Iizuna, from the Nagano Prefecture, got its name due to how the gods gave people mastery of this technique from there.[13]

According to the folkloristician Mutō Tetsujō, "They are called izuna in the Senboku District,[* 1] Akita Prefecture, and there are also the ichiko (itako) that use them."[14] Also, in the Kitaakita District, they are called mōsuke (猛助), and they are feared as yōkai even more than foxes (kitsune).[14]

In the Ainu language, ermines are called upas-čironnup or sáčiri, but since least weasels are also called sáčiri, Mashio Chiri surmised that the honorary title poy-sáčiri-kamuy (where poy means "small") refers to least weasels.[15]

Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi is a phenomenon wherein one who is idle is suddenly injured as if his or her skin were cut by a scythe. In the past, this was thought to be "the deed of an invisible yōkai weasel". An alternate theory, asserts that kamaitachi is derived from kamae tachi (構え太刀, "stance sword"), so were not originally related to weasels at all.[16]

Notes

  1. ^ However, in the Senboku District, especially in Obonai village (生保内村), they are called okojo.[14]

References

  1. ^ Shorter Oxford English dictionary. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 2007. p. 3804. ISBN 978-0199206872.
  2. ^ a b "The Weasel". The Mammal Society. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  3. ^ Abramov, A.V. 1999. A taxonomic review of the genus Mustela (Mammalia, Carnivora). Zoosystematica Rossica, 8(2): 357-364
  4. ^ a b Lawson, John Cuthbert (2012). Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion: A Study in Survivals. Cambridge UP. pp. 327–28. ISBN 978-1-107-67703-6. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b Abbott, George Frederick (1903). Macedonian folklore. Cambridge UP. pp. 108–109. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b Thomas, N.W. (September 1900). "Animal Superstitions and Totemism". Folk-lore. 11: 228–67. JSTOR 1253113.
  7. ^ Brown, Frank C.; Hand, Wayland D. (1977). Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore: Popular Beliefs and Superstitions from North Carolina. Duke UP. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-8223-0259-9. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  8. ^ Hazlitt, William Carew; Brand, John (1905). Faiths and folklore: a dictionary of national beliefs, superstitions and popular customs, past and current, with their classical and foreign analogues, described and illustrated. Reeves and Turner. p. 622. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  9. ^ a b 村上健司編著 『妖怪事典』 毎日新聞社、2000年、36頁。ISBN 978-4-6203-1428-0。
  10. ^ 高田衛監修 稲田篤信・田中直日編 『鳥山石燕 画図百鬼夜行』 国書刊行会、1992年、50頁。ISBN 978-4-336-03386-4。
  11. ^ 少年社・中村友紀夫・武田えり子編 『妖怪の本 異界の闇に蠢く百鬼夜行の伝説』 学習研究社〈New sight mook〉、1999年、123頁。ISBN 978-4-05-602048-9。
  12. ^ 草野巧 『幻想動物事典』 新紀元社、1997年、30頁。ISBN 978-4-88317-283-2。
  13. ^ 『広辞苑 第4版』(1991年)、岩波書店「いづなつかい【飯綱使・飯縄遣】」の項
  14. ^ a b c 武藤, 鉄城 (1940), "秋田郡邑魚譚", アチックミユーゼアム彙報, 45: 41–42, 北秋田ではモウスケと称して狐より怖がられ、仙北地方ではイヅナと称し、それを使う巫女(エチコ)もある。学名コエゾイタチを、此の付近..〔生保内村〕では..オコジョと云ふ(田口耕之助氏)
  15. ^ 知里, 真志保 (Chiri, Mashiho) (30 Mar 1959), "アイヌ語獣名集 (On the names of the mammals of the Ainu language)" (pdf), 北海道大學文學部紀要 = the Annual Reports on Cultural Science: 141, ISSN 0437-6668
  16. ^ 人文社編集部 (2005). 諸国怪談奇談集成 江戸諸国百物語 東日本編. ものしりシリーズ. 人文社. p. 104. ISBN 978-4-7959-1955-6.

Further reading

External links

  • The dictionary definition of weasel at Wiktionary
  • Media related to Mustela at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Mustela at Wikispecies
Business administration

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Colloquialism

In linguistics, colloquialism is vernacular language including everyday language, everyday speech, common parlance, informal language, colloquial language, general parlance, and common expressions. It is the most used linguistic variety of a language, the language normally used in conversation and other informal communication.

A specific instance of such language is called a colloquialism. The most common term used in dictionaries to label such an expression is colloquial.

Commerce

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Extended play

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Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post said, "EPs—originally extended-play 'single' releases that are shorter than traditional albums—have long been popular with punk and indie bands." In the United Kingdom, the Official Chart Company defines a boundary between EP and album classification at 25 minutes of maximum length or four tracks (not counting alternative versions of featured songs, if present).

Foobar

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Kopi Luwak

Kopi luwak (Indonesian pronunciation: [ˈkopi ˈlu.aʔ]), or civet coffee, is coffee that includes partially digested coffee cherries, eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). Fermentation occurs as the cherries pass through a civet's intestines, and after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are collected.

Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms, selection – civets choosing to eat only certain cherries – and digestion – biological or chemical mechanisms in the animal's digestive tract altering the composition of the coffee cherries.

The traditional method of collecting feces from wild civets has given way to intensive farming methods in which civets in battery cage systems are force-fed the cherries. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets due to "horrific conditions" including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the most expensive coffees in the world, with retail prices reaching €550 / US$700 per kilogram.Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also widely gathered in the forest or produced in the farms in the islands of the Philippines (where the product is called kape motit in the Cordillera region, kapé alamíd in Tagalog areas, kapé melô or kapé musang in Mindanao island, and kahawa kubing in the Sulu Archipelago), and in East Timor (where it is called kafé-laku). Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its Vietnamese name cà phê Chồn.

Least weasel

The least weasel (Mustela nivalis), common weasel, or simply weasel in the UK and much of the world, is the smallest member of the genus Mustela, family Mustelidae and order Carnivora. It is native to Eurasia, North America and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Malta, Crete, Bermuda, Madeira Island, the Azores, the Canary Islands, São Tomé, the Falkland Islands, Argentina and Chile. It is classified as least concern by the IUCN, due to its wide distribution and large population throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Least weasels from various parts of its range vary greatly in size. The body is slender and elongated, the legs and tail are relatively short. The colour varies geographically, as does the pelage type and length of tail. The dorsal surface, flanks, limbs and tail of the animal are usually some shade of brown while the underparts are white. The line delineating the boundary between the two colours is usually straight. At high altitudes and in the northern part of its range, the coat becomes pure white in winter. Eighteen subspecies are recognised.

Small rodents form the largest part of the least weasel's diet, but it also kills and eats rabbits, other mammals, and occasionally birds, birds' eggs, fish and frogs. Males mark their territories with olfactory signals and have exclusive home ranges which may intersect with or include several female ranges. Least weasels use pre-existing holes to sleep, store food and raise their young. Breeding takes place in the spring and summer, and there is a single litter of about six kits which are reared exclusively by the female. Due to its small size and fierce nature, the least weasel plays an important part in the mythology and legend of various cultures.

Management

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Social scientists study management as an academic discipline, investigating areas such as social organization and organizational leadership. Some people study management at colleges or universities; major degrees in management include the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA.) Master of Business Administration (MBA.) and, for the public sector, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Individuals who aim to become management specialists or experts, management researchers, or professors may complete the Doctor of Management (DM), the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), or the PhD in Business Administration or Management.

Larger organizations generally have three levels of managers, which are typically organized in a hierarchical, pyramid structure:

Senior managers, such as members of a Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or a President of an organization. They set the strategic goals of the organization and make decisions on how the overall organization will operate. Senior managers are generally executive-level professionals, and provide direction to middle management who directly or indirectly report to them.

Middle managers, examples of these would include branch managers, regional managers, department managers and section managers, who provide direction to front-line managers. Middle managers communicate the strategic goals of senior management to the front-line managers.

Lower managers, such as supervisors and front-line team leaders, oversee the work of regular employees (or volunteers, in some voluntary organizations) and provide direction on their work.In smaller organizations, an individual manager may have a much wider scope. A single manager may perform several roles or even all of the roles commonly observed in a large organization.

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Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Since the pioneering work of Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932), David Hilbert (1862–1943), and others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th century, it has become customary to view mathematical research as establishing truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the Renaissance, when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.Mathematics is essential in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, finance, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics has led to entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians engage in pure mathematics (mathematics for its own sake) without having any application in mind, but practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered later.

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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.

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Spring (season)

Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring (or vernal) equinox, days and nights are approximately twelve hours long, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses.

Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic. Cultures may have local names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe.

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Stoat

The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel or simply the weasel in Ireland where the least weasel does not live, is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. Originally from Eurasia, it crossed into North America some 500,000 years ago, where it naturalized and joined the notably larger, closely related native long-tailed weasel.

The name ermine is used for any species in the genus Mustela, especially the stoat, in its pure white winter coat, or the fur thereof. In the late 19th century, stoats were introduced into New Zealand to control rabbits, where they have had a devastating effect on native bird populations.

The stoat is classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as least concern, due to its wide circumpolar distribution, and because it does not face any significant threat to its survival. It was nominated as one of the world's top 100 "worst invaders".Ermine luxury fur was used in the 15th century by Catholic monarchs, who sometimes used it as the mozzetta cape. It was also used in capes on images such as the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Weasel word

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Weasel words can soften or under-state a biased or otherwise controversial statement. An example of this is using terms like "somewhat" or "in most respects", which make a sentence more ambiguous than it would be without them.

Extant Carnivora species

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