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(Mustela sibirica), a small predatory animal of the family Mustelidae. The body measures about 40 cm long, and the tail about 18 cm. In appearance it resembles the polecat, being distinguished by a lighter, red coloration. The lips and chin are pure white. The fur is thick and fluffy but coarser than that of the polecat.
The Siberian weasel is primarily distributed in Asia, southward to India and in Korea, in Japan, and on the island of Java. In the USSR it is found east of the Volga, in the Urals, Siberia, and the Far East. Inhabiting the taiga zone and part of the forest-steppe, it feeds predominantly on small rodents. It lives under the roots of trees among rocks. The animal mates at the end of winter or beginning of spring. After a gestation period of about 30 days, the female bears up to ten young. The Siberian weasel is a valuable fur-bearing animal. Brushes used in art painting (Siberian-weasel brushes) are made from the tail hairs.