The European mink has a very thick and dense, water-repellent coat that is shorter, less dense, and more loosely fitting than that of the American mink.
The winter fur of the European mink is very thick and dense, but not long, and quite loosely fitting. The underfur is water-repellent and particularly dense compared with that of more land-based members of the genus Mustela. The guard hairs are quite coarse and lustrous, with very wide contour hairs which are flat in the middle, as is typical in aquatic mammals. The length of the hairs on the back and belly differ little, a further adaptation to the European mink’s semiaquatic way of life.
The summer fur is somewhat shorter, coarser and less dense than the winter fur, though the differences are much less than in purely terrestrial mustelids.
The European mink’s coat is similar to that of the American mink (Neovison vison), but the winter fur of the American mink is denser, longer, and more closely fitting than that of the European mink.
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• Sources | (Grzimek, 1990; Heptner & Sludskii; 2002; Shalu, 2001; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2020; Youngman, 1990)