Least Weasel

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Least Weasel

LeastWeaselOriginal.png

Character Data
Also known as: Little weasel, common weasel
Japanese Name: イイズナ
Romanised Name: Iizuna
First Featured in: Kemono Friends Kingdom
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Mustela nivalis
Distribution: North America, Eurasia, North Africa
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 7-8 years
Read More: Least weasel
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 LC.svg.png
Least Weasel KF3 Kingdom Gallery

Least Weasel is a type of Friend that first appeared in the mobile game Kemono Friends Kingdom.

Appearance

Least Weasel's attire in the the franchise is actually representing the species' winter coat, which is all white.

She has a snow white bob-cut that goes just below her humanoid ears. Atop her head are two small, rounded weasel ears of the same color. There are two longer bangs framing her face and one large chunk in the middle. A pale pink dot sets in the center bit of hair, likely representing the real life animal's nose. On the sides of her head are two long, whisker-like black hair strands. She also dons a red headband with a bow in the middle.

The only bit of skin she shows is her face, which has a very fair complexion. Her eyes are a dark brown almost black color. However her gloves and shoes are a peach pink. The shoe's laces tie into a tiny ribbon.

True to the winter coat theme, Least Weasel has a fluffy white scarf around her neck. She also has a baggy sweater with ribbed sleeve ends and shorts that are the same fluffy material as her scarf. Her stockings are also a pure white. Lastly, she has a short and stiff tail the same white as her ears.

Series Appearances

Appearances In Kemono Friends Media
Media Role

In Real Life

Least weasel in its winter coat. Photo by Stormbringer76, 2014.

The Least Weasel is a small mustelid hailing from Eurasia, North America, and North Africa. It has also been introduced and can now be found in New Zealand, Malta, Crete, the Azores, and São Tomé. Its thin, flexible body and blunt muzzled face are immediately recognizable. Compared to other weasels, it has an almost "infantile" appearance, especially when comparing skull features. Most weasels will have a brown top coat with a white underbelly in the summer, and the more distinctive pure white coat in the winter.

Alaskan Least Weasel showing the brown-and-white summer coat. Photo by Cecil Sanders.
Skulls of a long-tailed weasel (top), a stoat (bottom left) and least weasel (bottom right), as illustrated in Merriam's Synopsis of the Weasels of North America

Small rodents make up most of Least Weasel's diet, but will also eat rabbits, other small mammals (mice, wild hamsters and gerbils, etc.), birds and bird eggs, and the occasional fish and frog. They are tenacious hunters and will go after prey five to ten times their size. The average daily food intake is 35 g (1 oz.), which is equivalent to 30–35% of the animal's body weight.

Though a fierce predator in its own right, the Least Weasel is small enough to be preyed upon by larger mammals. Predators include red foxes, sables, steppe and forest polecat, stoats, eagle owls and buzzards. Others include native owls and snakes (depending on the habitat range). In areas where it shares a habitat with the stoat, the two have a sympatric relationship. They will occasionally clash over food.

The Least Weasel mates between April and July with a gestation period of 34-37 days. Each litter will have around six kits. Newborns are born pink, naked, blind and deaf, but at around 4 days old will gain a white downy coat. The milk teeth come in around two to three weeks, in which the babies will start eating solid foods. Afterwards the eyes will open at three to four weeks. The kits leave the dens after nine to twelve weeks.

It is a popular figure in mythology and culture, including Ancient Macedonians and Greeks, as well as Ojibwe and Inuit culture.

Trivia

  • Other names include Little Weasel, Common Weasel, or simply Weasel.
  • There are a whopping eighteen (18) recognized subspecies of Least Weasel.
  • The Egyptian Weasel, while very similar in appearance, is recognized as a separate species altogether.
  • The weasel has a stronger bite force than a lion, tiger, hyena, or even a bear, relative to body size.
  • They do not dig their own dens, but nest in the abandoned burrows of other species such as a moles or rats.
  • According to the Greeks, it was the only animal capable of killing the Basilisk.

References

Mammal Friends
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Brown Long-Eared BatCommon Vampire BatDaito Fruit BatFraternal MyotisHilgendorf's Tube-Nosed BatHonduran White Bat
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True Foxes Arctic FoxEzo Red FoxFennec FoxKit FoxPale FoxRed FoxRüppell's FoxSilver FoxTibetan Sand FoxWhite Ezo Red Fox
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Deer
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Felids Saber-Toothed Tiger
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Domestic Rabbit
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