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
References in periodicals archive ?
"The ferrets have all been vet checked, microchipped, neutered and vaccinated."
Ferrets typically live for about six years but can reach 10 or even slightly older.
"Ferret ownership is growing among millennials, 14.9 percent of whom own ferrets compared to 10.5 percent of boomers.
Beyond these, additional variables, which are largely out of the control of researchers, include ferret suppliers (commercial or hobby and the quantity of ferrets available from each), country-specific animal welfare issues, institutional animal care and use committee guidelines, and pharmaceutical limitations (availability or restriction of anesthetics licensed for use).
Agnes Puskorius, who runs a community called Irish Ferrets, has tried to dismiss any suggestion the animals are wild and she said they can make ideal pets for people.
Ferrets have starred in Harry Potter films and shared a bath with Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski.
A record 42 ferrets and their owners attended this year's competition, which included a Hawaiian theme - including appropriately sized leis for each animal.
As an additional technique to further characterize the reactivity of the respective mAb with ferret Ig, individual M[alpha]F-Ig mAb were used to probe reduced ferret Ig antigen and serum from three naive ferrets in a western blot screen.
Great Ayton's deputy manager, Olivia Duffill, said: "If you love mischievous, silly and funny pets, then ferrets may be an ideal pet for you.
These ferrets are currently endangered due to the sylvatic plague infecting their primary food source, prairie dogs.
The next group of ferrets was developed to map German surface search and early warning radars in preparation for the invasion of Sicily in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
Ferrets are legal in much of the country, but some board members said the slinky weasel relatives don't belong in dense, largely apartment-dwelling New York.