Skip to main content
Select Source:

mink

mink, semiaquatic carnivorous mammal of the genus Mustela, closely related to the weasel and highly prized for its fur. One species, Mustela vison, is found over most of North America and another, M. lutreola, inhabits Europe—where it is now rare except in Russia—and central Asia. The mink has a slender, arched body, with a long neck, short legs, and a bushy tail. The fur is thick and shiny; in wild strains it is rich brown all over the body, except for a white throat patch. Like other members of the weasel family, minks have musk glands that produce an acrid secretion. Excellent swimmers, they usually live near water, where they catch much of their food. The American mink feeds on aquatic mammals, such as muskrat, as well as fish, frogs, crustaceans, and birds. It is about 20 to 28 in. (51–71 cm) long, including the 7 to 9 in. (18–23 cm) tail. Much of the mink used in the fur trade is bred and raised on farms, where many color varieties have been produced. Descendants of escaped farm animals have established mink populations where none previously existed, e.g., in Great Britain and Iceland. Minks are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Mustelidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

"mink." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mink

mink Small, semi-aquatic mammal of the weasel family, with soft, durable, water-repellent hair of high commercial value. They have slender bodies, short legs, and bushy tails. Wild mink have dark brown fur with long black outer hair. Ranch mink have been bred to produce fur of various colours. They eat fish, rodents, and birds. Escaped ranch mink can be a serious threat to indigenous wildlife. Length to: 73cm (29in) including the tail; weight: 1.6kg (3.5lb). Family Mustelidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

"mink." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mink

mink / mingk/ • n. (pl. same or minks ) a small, semiaquatic, stoatlike carnivore (genus Mustela) of the weasel family, native to North America and Eurasia. The American mink (M. vison) is widely farmed for its fur. ∎  the thick brown fur of the mink. ∎  a coat made of this.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink-0

"mink." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mink

mink skin or fur of stoat-like animal XV; the animal itself XVII. of uncert. orig.; cf. Sw. menk, mänk mink, LG. mink otter.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink-1

"mink." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mink

mink (Mustela) See MUSTELIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink

"mink." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mink

minkankh, bank, blank, clank, crank, dank, drank, embank, flank, franc, frank, hank, lank, outflank, outrank, Planck, plank, point-blank, prank, rank, sank, shank, shrank, spank, stank, swank, tank, thank, wank, yank •sandbank • piggy bank • mountebank •fog bank • mudbank • Bundesbank •databank • riverbank • Burbank •greenshank • sheepshank •scrimshank • Cruikshank •think tank • Franck • Eysenck •bethink, blink, brink, chink, cinque, clink, dink, drink, fink, Frink, gink, ink, interlink, jink, kink, link, mink, pink, plink, prink, rink, shrink, sink, skink, slink, stink, sync, think, wink, zinc •rinky-dink • Humperdinck • iceblink •cufflink • bobolink • Maeterlinck •lip-sync • countersink • doublethink •kiddiewink •tiddlywink (US tiddledywink) •hoodwink

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mink." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mink." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink

"mink." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mink

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Mink

Mink

Species of minks

Resources

Minks are carnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes badgers, weasels, marten, and otters. Mink are closely related to the weasels and ermine, and are included in the same genus (Mustela spp.).

Mink have a long, compact body, with relatively short legs, webbed toes, and a long, bushy tail. Minks are larger and stouter than other animals in the weasel group. Male minks are considerably larger than females, typically weighing about 4.4 lb (2 kg).

Minks are semiaquatic animals. They have a highly varied diet, commonly feeding on small fish, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and birds. Minks are excellent swimmers, and can catch many types of aquatic prey. Minks are most active at dusk, night, and dawn. Their most usual habitat is riparian, that is, they live in the shrubby or forested habitats found in the vicinity of streams, rivers, and lakes. Mink also occur in the vicinity of marine habitats. Mink are solitary animals, except for groups consisting of a female and her recent young. A typical mink territory is several hectares in area.

The fur of minks is short, thick, soft, and lustrous, and is highly prized by the fur trade. Mink are extirpated or rare in many parts of their original range because of overtrapping for the fur trade. Today, most furs are obtained from mink that have been bred and raised on fur farms specifically for their pelts. Because of its superior pelage, the American mink is the preferred species for raising on fur farms. The natural color of wild minks is dark brown, but cultivated varieties are available in white, black, silver-blue, and blue pelages. In recent years, fur farms have been the target of animal-rights activists, who object to these animals being raised and killed only to use

KEY TERMS

Riparian A moist habitat that occurs in the vicinity of streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

their fur in the fashion industry. In a few cases, notably in England, activists released thousands of captive-reared animals from mink farms.

Species of minks

The American mink (Mustela vison ) occurs throughout most of North America, except for parts of the arid Southwest. This species lives in the vicinity of a wide range of aquatic habitats. Mink make their dens in hollows in fallen logs and under stumps, and in burrows taken over from a muskrat or beaver.

The natural range of the Eurasian mink (Mustela lutreola ) extends through much of central Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia, with a disjunct population in France. This species has become widely extirpated from much of its natural range, through a combination of habitat changes and excessive trapping.

The recently extinct sea mink (Mustela macrodon ) was a relatively large species that occurred along marine shores in parts of northeastern North America. This species was initially rare, and it was quickly made extinct by overexploitation for its fur. Studies of its skeletal materials, which showed that the sea mink was a distinct species, were not actually conducted until after this animal had become extinct. The sea mink was about twice the size of the American mink, with a relatively large skull, and other special characters. The species appears to have disappeared from New England in the 1860s or so, and the last known animal was killed on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, in 1894.

Resources

BOOKS

Banfield, A.W.F. The Mammals of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.

Dunstone, N. The Mink. London: Poyser Press, 1993.

Nowak, R.M., ed. Walkers Mammals of the World. 6th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Wilson, D.E., and D. Reeder, compilers. Mammal Species of the World. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2005.

PERIODICALS

Larivière, S. Mustela vison. Mammalian Species 608 (1999): 19.

Youngman, P.M. Mustela lutreola. Mammalian Species 362 (1990): 13.

Bill Freedman

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink-0

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Mink

Mink

Minks are carnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes badgers , weasels , marten, and otters . Mink are closely related to the weasels and ermine, and are included in the same genus (Mustela spp.).

Mink have a long, compact body, with relatively short legs, webbed toes, and a long, bushy tail. Minks are larger and more stout than other animals in the weasel group. Male minks are considerably larger than females, typically weighing about 4.4 lb (2 kg).

Minks are semiaquatic animals. They have a highly varied diet, commonly feeding on small fish , aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates , amphibians , reptiles , small mammals , and birds . Minks are excellent swimmers, and can catch many types of aquatic prey . Minks are most active at dusk, night, and dawn. Their most usual habitat is riparian, that is, they live in the shrubby or forested habitats found in the vicinity of streams, rivers , and lakes. Mink also occur in the vicinity of marine habitats. Mink are solitary animals, except for groups consisting of a female and her recent young. A typical mink territory is several hectares in area.

The fur of minks is short, thick, soft, and lustrous, and is highly prized by the fur trade. Mink are extirpated or rare in many parts of their original range because of over-trapping for the fur trade. Today, most furs are obtained from mink that have been bred and raised on fur farms specifically for their pelts. Because of its superior pelage, the American mink is the preferred species for raising on fur farms. The natural color of wild minks is dark brown, but cultivated varieties are available in white, black, silver-blue, and blue pelages. In recent years, fur farms have been the target of animal-rights activists, who object to these animals being raised and killed only to use their fur in the fashion industry. In a few cases, notably in England, activists released thousands of captive-reared animals from mink farms.


Species of minks

The American mink (Mustela vison) occurs throughout most of North America , except for parts of the arid southwest. This species lives in the vicinity of a wide range of aquatic habitats. Mink make their dens in hollows in fallen logs and under stumps, and in burrows taken over from a muskrat or beaver.

The natural range of the Eurasian mink (Mustela lutreola) extends through much of central Europe , Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia, with a disjunct population in France. This species has become widely extirpated from much of its natural range, through a combination of habitat changes and excessive trapping.

The recently extinct sea mink (Mustela macrodon) was a relatively large species that occurred along marine shores in parts of northeastern North America. This species was initially rare, and it was quickly made extinct by overexploitation for its fur. Studies of its skeletal materials, which showed that the sea mink was a distinct species, were not actually conducted until after this animal had become extinct. The sea mink was about twice the size of the American mink, with a relatively large skull, and other special characters. The species appears to have disappeared from New England in the 1860s or so, and the last known animal was killed on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, in 1894.


Resources

books

Banfield, A.W.F. The Mammals of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.

Dunstone, N. The Mink. UK: Poyser Press, 1993.

Grzimek, B., ed. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. London: McGraw Hill, 1990.

Nowak, R.M., ed. Walker's Mammals of the World. 5th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Wilson, D.E., and D. Reeder, compilers. Mammal Species of the World. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.


Bill Freedman

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Riparian

—A moist habitat that occurs in the vicinity of streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

"Mink." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mink

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.