The land mammals of Greenland are decidedly more American than European; the musk-ox, the banded lemming (Cuniculus torquatus), the white polar wolf, of which there seems to have been a new invasion recently round the northern part of the country to the east coast, the Eskimo and the dog - probably also the reindeer - have all come from America, while the other land mammals, the polar bear, the polar fox, the Arctic hare, the stoat (Mustela erminea), are perfectly circumpolar forms. The species of seals and whales are, if anything, more American than European, and so to some extent are the fishes.
The animal is ` brown,' of a shade from orange or tawny to quite blackish; the tail and feet are ordinarily the darkest, the head lightest, often quite whitish; the ears usually have a whitish rim, while on the throat there is usually a large tawny-yellowish or orange-brown patch, from the chin to the fore legs, sometimes entire, sometimes broken into a number of smaller, irregular blotches, sometimes wanting, sometimes prolonged on the whole under surface, when the animal is bicolor like a stoat in summer.
WEASEL (Putorius nivalis), the smallest European species of the group of mammals of which the polecat and stoat are well-known members (see CARNIVORA).
In cold regions the weasel turns white in winter, but less regularly and only at a lower temperature than the stoat or ermine, from which it is distinguished by its smaller size and the absence of the black tail-tip. The length of the head and.
To gamekeepers and those interested in the preservation of game, all animals such as the pole-cat, weasel, stoat, hawks, owls, &c., which destroy the eggs or young of preserved birds, are classed as "vermin," and the same term includes rats, mice, &c. It is also the collective name given to all those disgusting and objectionable insects that infest human beings, houses, &c., when allowed to be in a filthy and unsanitary condition, such as bugs, fleas, lice, &c.
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