Return of the sprat: 'Vital' small fish thrive in the Clyde Sea

Small fish that live in open water and form a significant part of the base of the marine food chain have returned in huge numbers to the Clyde Sea, according to new research from scientists at the University of Aberdeen.

Researchers detect coronavirus in two feral American mink

Researchers from the Faculties of Veterinary Sciences and Health Sciences of the CEU Cardenal Herrera (CEU UCH) university of Valencia have published the detection of two positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in wild American ...

SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink evade inhibition by antibodies

It has been known for about a year that minks can become infected with SARS-CoV-2. The virus had been transmitted from humans to farmed mink and mutated in infected animals. Mutations were acquired in the spike protein, which ...

Whale cams track swimming efficiency of ocean giants

The relatively squat and gangly humpback whale moves more efficiently through the water than its sleeker, larger cousin, the blue whale, according to new research that used devices attached to the animals to collect information ...

Whales targeted by Japan face extinction threat

One of three species Japan has targeted in resuming commercial whaling Monday is threatened with extinction, and sub-populations of the other two are severely depleted as well, according to experts.

Iceland will skip whaling this year: company

No whales will be harpooned off the waters around Iceland this year, as the island nation's two whaling companies have decided to abandon the summer whaling season for the first time in 17 years.

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Mink

There are two living species referred to as "mink": the European Mink and the American Mink. The extinct Sea Mink is related to the American Mink, but was much larger. All three species are dark-colored, semi-aquatic, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, which also includes the weasels and the otters and ferrets. The American Mink is larger and more adaptable than the European Mink. It is sometimes possible to distinguish between the European and American mink; a European Mink always has a large white patch on its upper lip, while the American species sometimes does not. Thus, any mink without such a patch can be identified with certainty as an American Mink, but an individual with a patch cannot be certainly identified without looking at the skeleton. Taxonomically, both American and European Minks used to be placed in the same genus Mustela ("Weasels"), but most recently the American Mink has been re-classified as belonging to its own genus Neovison.

The American Mink's fur has been highly prized for its use in clothing, with hunting giving way to farming. Its treatment has also been a focus of animal rights and animal welfare activism. American Mink have found their way into the wild in Europe (including Great Britain) and South America, after being released from mink farms by animal rights activists or otherwise escaping from captivity.

American Mink are believed by some to have contributed to the decline of the less hardy European Mink through competition (though not through hybridization—native European mink are in fact closer to polecats[disambiguation needed ] than to their North American cousins). Trapping is used to control or eliminate feral American Mink populations.

Mink oil is used in some medical products and cosmetics, as well as to treat, preserve and waterproof leather.

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