Animal Age

How old does a European polecat get? (age expectancy)

What is the maximal age a European polecat reaches?

An adult European polecat (Mustela putorius) usually gets as old as 14 years.

European polecats are around 41 days in the womb of their mother. When born, they weight 9 grams (0.02 lbs) and measure 5 cm (0′ 2″). As a member of the Mustelidae family (genus: Mustela), a European polecat caries out around 8 little ones per pregnancy, which happens around 1 times a year. Fully grown, they reach a bodylength of 35.9 cm (1′ 3″).

As a reference: Usually, humans get as old as 100 years, with the average being around 75 years. After being carried in the belly of their mother for 280 days (40 weeks), they grow to an average size of 1.65m (5′ 5″) and weight in at 62 kg (137 lbs), which is obviously highly individual.

A European polecat gets as old as 14 years

The European polecat (Mustela putorius) – also known as the common ferret, black or forest polecat, foumart (from Middle English ‘Fulmard’, meaning ‘Foul’, and ‘Mearth’ , meaning ‘Marten’), or fitch (as well as some other names) – is a species of mustelid native to western Eurasia and north Morocco. It is of a generally dark brown colour, with a pale underbelly and a dark mask across the face. Occasionally, colour mutations, including albinos and erythrists, occur. Compared to minks and other weasels – fellow members of the genus Mustela – the polecat has a shorter, more compact body; a more powerfully built skull and dentition; is less agile; and it is well known for having the characteristic ability to secrete a particularly foul-smelling liquid to mark its territory.It is much less territorial than other mustelids, with animals of the same sex frequently sharing home ranges. Like other mustelids, the European polecat is polygamous, with pregnancy occurring after mating, with no induced ovulation. It usually gives birth in early summer to litters consisting of five to 10 kits, which become independent at the age of two to three months. The European polecat feeds on small rodents, birds, amphibians and reptiles. It occasionally cripples its prey by piercing its brain with its teeth and stores it, still living, in its burrow for future consumption.The European polecat originated in Western Europe during the Middle Pleistocene, with its closest living relatives being the steppe polecat, the black-footed ferret and the European mink. With the two former species, it can produce fertile offspring, though hybrids between it and the latter species tend to be sterile, and are distinguished from their parent species by their larger size and more valuable pelts.The European polecat is the sole ancestor of the ferret, which was domesticated more than 2000 years ago for the purpose of hunting vermin. The species has otherwise been historically viewed negatively by humans. In the British Isles especially, the polecat was persecuted by gamekeepers, and became synonymous with promiscuity in early English literature. During modern times, the polecat is still scantly represented in popular culture when compared to other rare British mammals, and misunderstandings of its behaviour still persist in some rural areas. As of 2008, it is classed by the IUCN as Least Concern due to its wide range and large numbers.

Animals of the same family as a European polecat

Not really brothers and sisters, but from the same biological family (Mustelidae):

Animals that reach the same age as European polecat

With an average age of 14 years, European polecat are in good companionship of the following animals:

Animals with the same number of babies European polecat

The same number of babies at once (8) are born by:

Weighting as much as European polecat

A fully grown European polecat reaches around 980 grams (2.16 lbs). So do these animals:

Animals as big as a European polecat

Those animals grow as big as a European polecat: