Mink vs. Weasel

Mink vs. Weasel

Mink and weasel are small mammals and members of the weasel family. There are 2 species of mink that are native to Europe and North America and 10 species of weasel that can be found all over the world except in Australia and on Antarctica. Minks are semi-aquatic creatures. They are adapted to the life in the swamps and areas near the rivers, ponds and lakes. Weasels are terrestrial animals that usually inhabit forests, grasslands, farmlands and fields. Both mink and weasel require permanent water supply in their habitats. They use anal glands to mark the borders of their territory. Minks and weasels are close relatives. They have similar shape of the body and eating habits, but they can be easily distinguished via:


Minks are larger and heavier than weasels. They can reach 16 to 30 inches in length and 1.3 to 2.2 pounds of weight. Weasels can reach 6 to 16 inches in length and 1 to 16 ounces of weight.

Morphology of the Body

Minks have long, slender body, pointed nose, long neck, short legs with partially webbed feet and long, bushy tail. Weasels are also slender animals with elongated snout and short legs, but their feet are not webbed and their tail is not always long (some species have short tail).

Color of the Fur

Minks have thick, silky, dark brown or black fur. Chin and throat are white and belly is covered with white spots. Their fur is waterproof. Weasels are yellowish-brown or brown-colored. Neck and belly are covered with creamy-white fur. Some weasels change color of the fur seasonally and have white fur during the winter.


Minks and weasels are carnivores. Both animals are able to overpower very large prey (relative to their size). Weasels usually consume smaller animals compared with minks. Their diet is based on rabbits, piglets, woodchucks, squirrels, voles, moles, snakes, birds, insects and eggs. Muskrats are often on the menu of minks. Other than that, minks like to eat rabbits, birds, frogs, crayfish and rodents.

Hunting Methods

Minks are excellent swimmers. They are able to dive to a depth of 15 feet to catch their prey. Minks grab their prey for neck. Weasels do not like to swim. Instead, they often visit dens and burrows of their prey and use powerful jaws to crash their skulls.

Association with Humans

Minks are often kept on the farms as a source of beautiful, soft fur and oil, which has application in the medical and cosmetic industry. Weasels are not commercially important animals. In fact, they are often classified as pests because of their habit to steal poultry and eggs from the farms.

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