Election 2016

Weasels Are Built for the Hunt

nytimes.com“If you compare a least weasel to a meadow mouse, they’re the same weight, but the weasel has the higher metabolic rate,” said Roger Powell, an emeritus professor at North Carolina State University and doyen of weasel studies.

“The weasel heart beats at up to 400 pulses per minute,” said Mark Linnell, a faculty research assistant who studies mustelids at Oregon State University. “They’re geared to run at full speed, and they’re always high-strung.”

That keyed-up metabolism is another example of a grand mustelidian compromise. “If you have a high metabolic rate, you can be more active and search farther for food in more places and in more diverse ways,” Dr. Powell said. “But you have to catch more food in order to do that.”

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