Mink closeup photo by Doug Lloyd

Mustela vison

Mink on rocks - photo by Tim RichesMink live throughout much of northern and eastern North America near water of all kinds—marshes, swamps, and streams. These semiaquatic critters eat crustaceans, fish, frogs, and small rodents. Although generally nocturnal, you sometimes can spot them during the day in winter. Like all mustelids, mink give off a musky odor from a pair of scent gland near the base of their tails. Their common name—mink—comes from the Swedish "menk," which was originally used to refer to the furs of "that stinking animal from Finland."

Cool Links:

Animal Diversity Web : Mink species profile

Mink tracks and gait - great photos, from Dennis Deck's excellent Virtual Dirt Time: An Adventure in Tracking Online

Mink and the North American Fur Trade - a historical account


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closeup photo: Doug Lloyd; photo: Tim Riches