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The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is the domesticated form of the European polecat, a mammal belonging to the same genus as the weasel, Mustela of the family Mustelidae. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur. They have an average length of 51 cm including a 13 cm tail, weigh about , and have a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators with males being substantially larger than females.

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I’ve done many projects on ferrets over the years. One project was "If I had a million dollars what would I do with it?" and I came up with ways to help endangered and domesticated ferrets. I did a lot of research on what their behaviors are and how to care for them. In elementary school even one my teacher wrote a note to my parents asking them to consider allowing me to have a ferret. The thing I love about them the most is they are very playful and mischievous. Every time my family and I go to the pet store, I always check out the ferrets, and I plan on getting a ferret of my own very soon.

Contributed by Caitlin Ann King

This is a photo of my albino ferret named Knuckles!

Contributed by Haleigh Peck

Deafness in ferrets is usually a genetic defect caused by Waardenburg syndrome, which results in the underdevelopment of the hearing mechanism of the inner ear. Ferrets with the Waardenburg syndrome, deafness is genetically linked with white markings on the face. Most of the time, this affects ferrets with the "blaze" markings (a white "badger stripe" on top of the head and a white bib) and those with the "panda" markings (a white head and bib, with no mask). It is estimated that 75 percent of badger and panda ferrets are deaf.

Contributed by Caitlin Buck

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