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Ferret acrobatics

Ferret climbing curtains.

In general ferrets are two-dimensional animals and their climbing skills are not the best. However as usual, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Don't panic. Most of the ferrets can not do this.

This particular ferret in the video below is a European (mustela putorius) and Steppe (mustela eversmannii) polecat hybrid. What probably adds her climbing abilities.

European polecat and Steppe polecat are very close relatives that both belong to the same weasel family however are members of different species.

Interestingly that regardless of the fact that European polecat (as well as ferret) has 40 chromosomes and Steppe polecat has only 38, these two species can interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

Steppe polecats are also extremely close relatives of black-footed ferrets (mustela nigripes). It is believed that black-footed ferrets and steppe polecats originated from one specie long ago and later got separated when a land bridge between Asia and North America "Beringia" disappeared.

Steppe polecat and Black-footed ferrets look very similar and and lead a similar life style in grasslands.

Both Black-footed ferret and Steppe polecat have 38 chromosomes.

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