Stoat (Mustela erminea), Upper Bavaria, Germany
© Konrad Wothe/Minden Picture
Stoat (Mustela erminea)
The stoat, a small mustelid related to the weasel and otter, usually has a chestnut-coloured body and a black-tipped tail, though in colder climates its winter coat is white, like this stoat in snowy Upper Bavaria, Germany. More than just a cute creature, stoats are incredibly successful hunters. Their long, thin shape enables them to pursue prey both above and below ground, though they’re most often found in rough grassland, around rabbit burrows. They have an acute sense of smell and can travel more than two kilometres on a hunting expedition. You won’t only find them on the ground – their agility means they will also climb trees and walls to reach birds’ nests.