Sunday, 7 October 2012


Stoat, also known as ermine or short tailed weasel, is a small mammal native to Eurasia and North America.

This stoat was at Melbourne Museum collection room.
I made a pencil drawing and then turned it into an etching the other day at Jazmina Cininas' studio.

Although it looks sort of cuddly, the stoat is a carnivorous animal preying on rodents, insects, reptiles, fish, amphibians. The stoat's favorite meal however is a rabbit, despite the fact that a stoat is generally much smaller than a rabbit.

In winter the fur becomes white and silky with the tip of its tail that‘s always black.
The fur in summer is brown with white stomach.
The stoat fur in its winter coat is referred to as ermine and this has been considered a valuable part of the fur industry.

Elizabeth I of England, "the Virgin Queen", painted with an ermine on her arm.
I've found numbers of Irish and European mythology around this animal.
In some cultures they are noxious and bad luck but in others they are considered sacred or a symbol of beauty.
One popular European myth had it that white stoats would die rather than risking its pure white coat soiled.

I will keep reading about them!

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