Weasels and their relatives the otters, badgers and wolverines form the family mustelidae. This is the largest family of carnivores, found everywhere except Antarctica, Australia, Madagascar and some other, smaller islands. Typically small mammals they range in size from the tiny least weasel, that is no bigger than a mouse; to the giant otter that can measure over two metres in length.
Scientific name: Mustelidae
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
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The Mustelidae (from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including the otters, badgers, weasels, martens and wolverines. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora. The internal classification still seems to be rather unsettled, with rival proposals containing between two and eight subfamilies. One study published in 2008 questions the long-accepted Mustelinae subfamily, and suggests that Mustelidae consist of four major clades and three much smaller lineages.
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