Weasel Family Tree Race


“Pine Marten BWC” by SurreyJohn – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons.

Please welcome my 9 year old son, Kyle, back with his third post on animals. He provides the topic and research, does all the writing, and selects the pictures. I simply help with the technical aspects. Although I imagine, I won’t even keep that job for long. I hope you enjoy this and share it with the littles in your life!

European Pine Marten vs. Long-Tailed Weasel vs. Black-Footed Ferret

Today we’re going to imagine that a European Pine Marten, a Long-Tailed Weasel, and a Black-Foooted Ferret are competing in a climbing race. Just so you know, this race is impossible because they live in different habitats. But, even though we’re imagining, I’m going to first tell you their real strengths.

Pine Marten advantages:

Has longest strides

Has biggest claws

Mustela frenata new.jpg

“Mustela frenata new” by JoernHauke – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Weasel advantages:

Is most maneuverable

Has best balance owing to his long tail

“Mustela nigripes 2” by USFWS Mountain Prairie – Black-footed Ferret Uploaded by Mariomassone. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

Ferret advantages:

Weighs the least

Yup, just one advantage for him.


Today’s race is taking place in California in Redwood National Park – home of the giant trees. Join me as these clawed members of the weasel family prepare to climb up these massive three hundred foot trees.


Okay, the animals are ready. Let’s get this race started! On your marks, get set, climb!


The weasel takes an early lead closely followed by the ferret. They’ve easily climbed 50 feet already. The pine marten is close behind. Now with 250 feet to go, the pine marten passes them both to take the lead. Over the next 50 feet, the weasel catches up to tie. The ferret is far from quitting as he closes the gap in distance to a mere 15 feet. Coming down (or up!) the home stretch, the ferret gains the lead. With the finish line in sight, the pine marten and weasel are making a final push to win. With only five feet remaining, the pine marten grabs the lead and crosses the finish line! The pine marten wins!!! Weasel places second. The ferret a close third.


What do you think? Who would win in the race in your imagination? Can anyone answer in the comments what habitats they each come from or name two other animals from their family?


Want to learn more? Watch this video of a man chasing a European Pine Marten up a tree, this one of a California Long-Tailed Weasel and this video of the Black-Footed Ferret. We hope to see the Redwoods in person one day, but for now this video will do.




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