What is a mustelid? What makes this carnivorous mammal unique from other mammals? That is exactly what we sought out to solve during Wild Weasels School Break Camp.
On Monday, we started the day dissecting exactly what makes a mustelid mammal different from other mammals and other animals. What we learned is that mustelids have short legs, long tube-like bodies, and extremely sharp teeth. Can you think of any Colorado mammals that fit these descriptions?
After sorting mammals into mustelids and non-mustelids, campers showed off their art skills as we created weasel “pop” art. Not “pop” art like the 1950s movement, but rather a weasel craft that pops out of a burrow- much like the two weasel species that live in Colorado.
Our final activity of the day was critter crawl. All campers agreed that the water was cold, but that didn’t stop our campers from getting into the River to scoop out crawdads and other macroinvertebrates!
Tuesday was another chilly morning packed with weasel wisdom. In our first activity, we answered some questions about the two weasel species that live here in Colorado: the short-tailed weasel (ermine) and the long-tailed weasel. While these two weasels look very similar, especially when they both turn white during winter, there are a few things that can tell them apart.
Any hypothesis how to tell the two weasels apart?
To wrap up October’s camps, we did a critter crawl! How are weasels tied to the River? Through the food web! While weasels may not rely on the animals in the River directly, their food likely relies on the macros in the river… or their foods’ food does… or their foods’ foods’ food… you get it! After mapping out a small food web of weasels, we headed to the River to see what macros we could catch, and luckily we caught enough to indicate a healthy base for our food web!