urbpan: stuckinabucket: Enough weasel Okay, so fisher cats…



Enough weasel

Okay, so fisher cats (Martes pennanti).  Not cats.  Don’t make a habit of fishing.  Do make a habit of fucking with porcupines.  This happens:

Can pull the spines out with their cute little human-type paws.  Not fun, but probably less awful than it could be given the porcupines’ antibiotic-coated quills.

What they do to hunt porcupines is actually, uh, bite their faces until they stop being alive.  Porcupines will try to get around the face-biting by climbing trees and using their tails on anything that tries to come up after them, so fisher cats will find a nearby tree, climb it, get above the porcupine, and then climb down the porcupine’s tree.  Because weasels, guys.  If they kill a porcupine in the winter, they will partially bury it in snow, quills out, to keep scavengers off, and then flip it back over to eat more once they’re hungry again.  This is probably the behavior that’s led to urban?  rural? legends of this being how they kill porcupines in the first place.

Because porcupines are still not by any means fun to hunt, they prefer rabbits, which have 100% fewer death-spines and don’t require climbing trees to murder them.  They have stupidly big, broad, fuzzy feet compared to the rest of them, and even at four feet tip to tip, they only weigh about fifteen pounds, so they can actually book it over snow, scree, and marshy ground without getting bogged down. 

Above: Thoughts of dignified murder.

Fisher cats are difficult to keep in captivity, which has prevented those of us with bad judgment from trying to make pets of them.  It also prevented them from being farmed for fur a la the mink, to the detriment of wild populations.  Their populations have rebounded after a beaver-esque plunge due to overhunting, and now that nobody cares, we actually do understand their bonkers breeding cycles. 

Aside from being prone to diseases in captivity that they don’t seem too susceptible to in the wild, they mate in the spring, and then implantation is delayed until winter, so that birth and nursing occurs at an optimal time of the year.  Kits actually need a lot of family-time, so this is pretty necessary and perfectly sensical.  But what breeders were seeing was a bunch of animals that fucked like rabbits and then like never got actually pregnant, and it drove them up a wall, and then they quit trying.

Fisher are surprisingly adaptable as well. There is a thriving population of these predators in Boston, and they don’t get nearly as much attention as the coyotes.

Reblogging because I dig mustelids, and used to look for, but sadly never found, fisher tracks when I lived in the eastern Sierra. (I found plenty of pine marten tracks, though.)

Also reblogging for the OP’s droll commentary.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1xiUOoR.

Tags: fishers, fishers not of men, but of porcupines.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.