ferret

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ferret,

name for a domesticated polecatpolecat,
carnivorous mammal of the weasel family. The name refers especially to the common Old World polecat, Mustela putorius, found in wooded areas of N Eurasia and N Africa.
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, Mustela putorius, common in the Old World. It has been used for centuries to hunt rats, mice, and rabbits. Domestic ferrets are found in many color types including albinos, brown, and black. The name is also applied to a related wild species, the North American, or black-footed, ferret, M. nigripes, which inhabits the Great Plains. Once extremely rare, its population is recovering due to captive breeding. Its range nearly coincides with that of the prairie dogs, which constitute most of its diet; it is often found in prairie dog burrows. The severe reduction of the prairie dog population by ranchers is probably partially responsible for the decline of the black-footed ferret, although it was apparently not numerous when the West was first settled by Europeans. Near extinction in the early 1980s, the remaining wild population was captured by 1986 and a successful breeding program begun. Animals were reintroduced into the wild beginning in 1991. Ferrets are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Mustelidae (weaselweasel,
name for certain small, lithe, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae (weasel family). Members of this family are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails.
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 family).

ferret

[′fer·ət]
(ordnance)
An aircraft, ship, or vehicle especially equipped for the detection, location, recording, and analyzing of electromagnetic radiation.
(vertebrate zoology)
Mustela nigripes. The largest member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, and a relative of the European polecat; has yellowish fur with black feet, tail, and mask.

ferret

Aircraft used in an ELINT (electronic intelligence) role and equipped with devices for detecting, locating, recording, and analyzing hostile electromagnetic radiation.

ferret

1
1. a domesticated albino variety of the polecat Mustela putorius, bred for hunting rats, rabbits, etc.
2. black-footed ferret a musteline mammal, Mustela nigripes, of W North America, closely related to the weasels

ferret

2, ferreting
silk binding tape