Populations Survival and Mortality

size and life span are generally related in wild animals. Mice and voles seldom live more than a few months, whereas bears can live over 25 years and elephants 40 to 50 years or more. Weasels, as a group, are small relative to all other carnivores and, indeed, also to many other mammals. We expect, then, to find that all weasels are relatively short-lived, but that within the group, stoats and longtails will live longer than common and least weasels. The best data we have are from stoats and common weasels, and they confirm the expected pattern.

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