Carrying on our family tree of the lovely ferret, this week we’re looking at some more subfamilies on the mustelidae side of things.
Let’s start with the subfamily of Guloninae. This is all to do with martens and wolverines.
Let’s start with the EU pine marten, which I always assumed sat with mink and polecats on the family tree. However they’re not that closely related.
So next there’s the Helictidinae. These are the ferret badgers. And I believe does what it says on the tin. It’s somewhere between a ferret and a badger. They’re slightly bonkers and I don’t think you can mistake them for anything else.
Ictonychinae Next is the Ictonychinae. This is the African polecat and the grisons. I had no idea what a grison was, so I googled it a little bit further and I think they are also called the South American wolverine. They are quite similar in a way to a honey badger. Okay, so then you’ve got the lutrinae, which are the otters, which we’ve already looked at last week.
From there, there’s another subfamily called the melinae. And this is our Eurasian badger. And this is what we think of when we think of a badger in Britain.
So then you’ve got the honey badger, which is the mellivorinae – I think these are super cute. For me, they bridge the gap between the shape of a badger and the shape of a more of a mustelid formation, they still have that elongated body and their short legs, but the beginning of their face is starting to change ever so slightly. These creatures are incredibly intelligent, incredibly naughty, and incredibly wonderful to watch.
Within actually the Super Family musteloidea, you still have skunk, but it’s actually in its own family, mephitidae. And that is your skunk and your stink badgers. So they were classified within the family and then the subfamilies within the other mustelids. But more recently they’ve genetically been shown to be more different than previously thought. So they’ve been given their own subfamily within the Superfamily musteloidea.
Let’s look at arctoidea which is within the pinnipedia family. It blows my mind to thing that our little weasels are more closely related to seals and sea lions than they are to bears or dogs.
Check out the video to go with this week’s blog and we’ll be back next week with more ferrety fun.