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The Chicken Dancing With Weasels _BEST_

For example, Harestad (1990) witnessed a longtail attempting to attack a Columbian ground squirrel, a stocky rodent weighing 350 to 800 g, considerably more than a longtail (see Table 4.1). The longtail's plan was foiled when two other squirrels mobbed it, and it fled. Such incidents may not happen every day, but eyewitness accounts of weasels attacking large prey are too common to be ignored, and are filled with vivid details describing, for example, the lightning thrusts with the teeth, the legs propped on widely straddled paws, and the tail furiously bristling with excitement.

The Chicken Dancing with Weasels

Why are weasels willing to run the risk of injury that comes with attacking prey larger than themselves? We suggest that this question has two answers. First, large prey provide a lot of food for a successful attacker, and weasels are perpetually hungry. Consequently, large prey may at times be critical for their survival (Powell & Zielinski 1983). The analysis presented by Carbone et al. (1999) suggests that when the density of small rodents falls below some critical level and alternatives are few, weasels must tackle large prey to meet their food requirements. The risk is balanced by the fact that, once a large prey item has been killed and cached, the weasel may be able to eat without hunting for days and thereby avoid exposure to the dangerous world outside its den.

Second, weasels always approach large prey with care. Just as a wolf takes caution when attempting to kill a large deer, which could kill the wolf with one well-placed strike from a hoof, a weasel takes caution when attacking large prey. Once, R.A. Powell (unpubl.) watched a 40-g female least weasel hunt and kill a 60-g female meadow vole. The least weasel approached the vole cautiously under cover. She watched the vole, which appeared unaware of her, from several vantage points before choosing one with perfect access, hiding the weasel until she was very close to the vole yet allowing an escape if necessary. Although the vole was large enough to kill the weasel, when the weasel's attack came it was swift and safe. The vole struggled violently, but only for the briefest time while the weasel held it firmly with her teeth at the back of the head and with all four paws. The weasel made a safe kill of a potentially dangerous prey.

Unfortunately, no one has made extensive, well-documented observations of weasels killing large prey. The abundant anecdotes are difficult to interpret, at best. For example, many well-known stories (some repeated in the first edition of this book) describe stoats killing rabbits and other large birds by "dancing" to distract attention from imminent attack, or stoats mesmerizing rabbits by their behavior or odor. The dancing of weasels and stoats is so well known in Britain that there has been for years a restaurant near Manchester called The Waltzing Weasel. "Stoated" rabbits (supposedly mesmerized by stoats), rescued without a mark on them, may recover from their paralysis and totter away, only to sink down and die later. Hewson and Healing (1971) examined carefully several rabbits killed by stoats. They concluded that, as the teeth and jaws of a stoat are somewhat small compared with the well-muscled neck of a rabbit, and the injuries inflicted did not seem to be severe, the rabbits must have "died of fright."

Opinions are divided on whether "dancing" weasels are merely playing, or deliberately using the "dance" as a hunting technique. In favor of the first interpretation is the fact that these "dances" are not confined to situations offering a potential hunting opportunity. During months of radio tracking stoats in Scotland, Pounds (1981) watched 13 "dances," some of which were performed without any audience at all. In favor of the second interpretation is the fact that weasels in general are intelligent and opportunistic hunters, and if they find themselves surrounded by curious rabbits or birds, for whatever reason, they will certainly take the chance to catch one if they can. If they realize the connection between their behavior and the subsequent kill, they might well learn to "dance" on purpose. A third, completely different explanation is that the "dances" are an involuntary response to the intense irritation caused by parasitic worms lodged inside the skull (Chapter 11), and are quite unrelated to hunting behavior.

Whatever the interpretation of "dancing" or "mesmerizing," one consistent factor is that, when associated with an attack on large prey, these behavior patterns appear to reduce or minimize the risk of injury to the weasel. Such a benefit could eventually reinforce the behavior, whether it was deliberate or not.

Weasels have a body form well suited to chasing down their prey. Long and slim, with short legs, long necks, and a small triangular head with rounded ears set low on the skull. This allows them to pursue their smaller prey through grasses, up trees, across rivers, in snow, and directly into their own tunnels and dens. Mice, voles, rats, chipmunks, shrews, frogs, lizards, small snakes, birds, insects and earthworms make up the bulk of their diet, but they are capable of taking down prey as much as 10-times their weight including rabbits and hares, woodchucks, domestic ducks and chickens, and an occasional baby pig. The weasel grabs onto its prey, wraps its muscular body around the animal to immobilize it, and then delivers a single killing bite to the back of the head, puncturing the skull or spinal cord.

In the cafeteria the next day, Emma checks up on Lou and asks what's wrong. Lou replies by saying "the horror". The Weasels across the table then growl and eat up a whole chicken. Emma points out that they are eating the bones and Lou is glad that the chicken is already dead. Zuri asks what's wrong with the new additions. Lou replies with "everything" and asks them not to call her "Lou", as the Weasels get mad. Lou then says that her new name is "Reek" and when the Weasels turn around, she says she loves it.

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.

Found in the UK, stoats and weasels are both small, brown, fast and ferocious mustelids with sinuous bodies and short legs. Learn how to identity each species, habitat, diet and the best places to spot in the British countryside.

In winter the vegetation dies back, making it easier to spot mammal holes and burrows. But do you know which holes belong to which animal? Learn how to identify animal habitats with our guide to the common animal holes and burrows found in the British wintertime.What do weasels eat?Weasels eat mainly voles and mice, some of which may be caught in their burrows.

(plural mink or minks) Any of various semi-aquatic, carnivorous mammals in the Mustelinae subfamily, similar to weasels, with dark fur, native to Europe and America, of which two species in different genera are extant: the American mink (Neovison vison) and the European mink (Mustela lutreola).

The mink possesses a white winter coat on the flip side; the weasel possesses the same coat the whole year. The mink dives deep into the water and knows how to swim. The weasel does not like swimming. The mink is associated with humans in the way that its fur is used for commercial purposes. The weasel is not human-associated, considered a pest because it steals chicken and eggs from farms.

Weasels belong to the Mustelids family. These are small animals, with long slender bodies, long necks, small heads, and short legs. They reside in every place except some places like Antarctica. Weasels can adapt to life all over the world. The weasels have brown coats, but often have yellow and white spots on their body. The most notable species is the least weasel, which is the smallest flesh-eater. The least weasel is only 25 grams in weight and its body length is up to 25 inches.

Weasel attacks the skull of the prey and bites on its skull or spinal cord. Their diet consists of rodents, mice, rabbits, birds, eggs, and chickens. Weasels do not possess the ability to store fat in their bodies; therefore, they need food to fulfill energy after some time. A strange character is present in weasels is that they circle and prey, hop and jump around it and start a dance to coerce their prey.

Striped skunks and people: Skunk musk, with its odor removed, is an important perfume ingredient that enables perfume to evaporate slowly and emit fragrance longer. Striped skunks kill rodents and insects that destroy crops but they sometimes assault chickens and damage beehives. In North America, they are carriers of rabies, an often deadly disease affecting the central nervous system and transmitted through the skunk's saliva.

Chicken wire, also known as hex netting, is a twisted steel wire mesh with hexagonal openings that can be galvanized or PVC coated.1 A hungry and determined predator, including but not limited to raccoons and some dogs, can tear through chicken wire with relative ease. It is not recommended as security fencing for chicken coops and runs.

Four-year-old Michael Rain Weasel waits anxiously while his grandmother Glenda Weasel adjusts his headband before dancing in his first powwow Saturday afternoon at the Native Youth Powwow held in the gymnasium at Missoula'


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