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In the Air Tonight....

European Pole Cat ~ British Wildlife Centre ~ Lingfield ~ Surrey ~ England ~ Sunday April 3rd 2011.

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Purchase some of my images here ~ www.saatchionline.com/art/view/artist/24360/art/1259239 ~ Should you so desire...go on, make me rich..lol...Oh...and if you see any of the images in my stream that you would like and are not there, then let me know and I'll add them to the site for you..:))

  

Well, as I said the other day, this lil furry and rather, hmmmm smelly, bundle of fur spent the time I was there running around, along with it's friend, sniffing the air...I think it must have been nearly feeding time...:))

 

Anyhoo....as one "Miss Rebecca Black" says ~ www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0 ~......It's Friday, Friday...gota get down on Friday...lol..:))

 

The Weekend is here and here in England we have a taste of Summer for a change, I was looking through some of my images last night and realised that exactly a year ago, on April the 6th 2010...it was snowing here in London!!!!!!....yet it's been in the 70's here today and hopefully there's more of the same for the next few days.

I feel like I'm back in Los Angeles..:))

Yesterday was the first time I have walked about outside in a T-Shirt since November / December when I was in the OC...good times..:))

 

Well, I'm off to spend the weekend basking in the sunshine in Colchester......and also watching my money disappear during the Grand National tomorrow....any tips will be gratefully received....providing they are winning ones..lol..:))

 

OK...if you also have sunshine where you are, have a great warm Weekend too, throw another shrimp on the Barbie for me...:))

  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ The European polecat (Mustela putorius), also known as the black or forest polecat, is a species of Mustelid native to western Eurasia and North Africa, which is classed by the IUCN as Least Concern due to its wide range and large numbers. The polecat is dark brown with a lighter bandit-like mask across the face, pale yellow underbody fur, a long tail and short legs. It is somewhat larger than weasels but smaller than otters, weighing between 0.7 kg for females to 1.7 kg for males. It is the sole ancestor of the ferret, which was domesticated over 2000 years ago for the purpose of hunting vermin.

 

Etymology ~ The word "polecat" first appeared in English after the Norman Conquest of England, written as polcat. While the second syllable is self explanatory, the origin of the first is unclear. It is possibly derived from the French poule, meaning "chicken", likely in reference to the species' fondness for poultry, or it may be a variant of the Anglo-Saxon ful, meaning "foul". In Old English, the species was referred to as foumart, meaning "foul marten", in reference to its strong odour. In Old French, the polecat was called fissau, which was derived from the Low German and Scandinavian verb for "to make a disagreeble smell". This was later corrupted in English as fitchew or fitchef, which itself gave rise to the word "fitch", which is used for the polecat's pelt.

Evolution ~ The earliest true polecat was Mustela stromeri, which appeared during the late Villafranchian. It was considerably smaller than the present form, thus indicating that polecats evolved at a relatively late period. The oldest modern polecat fossils occur in Germany, Britain and France, and date back to the Middle Pleistocene. The European polecat's closest relative is the steppe polecat, with which it is thought to have shared Mustela stromeri as a common ancestor. It is however not as specialised as the latter species, being more infantile in skull structure.

Domestication ~ Morphological, cytological and molecular studies confirm that the European polecat is the sole ancestor of the ferret, thus disproving any connection with the steppe polecat, which was once thought to have contributed to the ferret's creation. Ferrets were first mentioned by Aristotle in 350 BC, and Greek and Roman writers in the 1st century AD were the first to attest on the ferret's use in bolting rabbits from their burrows. In size and proportions, the ferret is similar to the European polecat, to the point that dark coloured ferrets are almost indistinguishable from polecats. The ferret's skull has a smaller cranial volume than the polecat's, and has a narrower postorbital constriction. Hybrids between the two animals typically have a distinct white throat patch, white feet and white hairs interspersed among the fur.

 

Subspecies ~ As of 2005 seven subspecies are recognised.

  

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Taken on April 3, 2011