6 animals that change color in winter

Migration, hibernation and food storage are all responses to changes in weather. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, hormonal changes activate the animal’s instinct to prepare for winter.

As the snow begins to fall, some animals trade their brown summer fur for a white winter coat. From weasels to caribou, here are six animals that change their appearance with the seasons.


Only three weasel species change color: the smallest weasel (Mustela nivalis), the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) and the short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea) caught here. (Image credit: Kathleen Reeder Wildlife Photography via Getty Images)

Weasels are active forest predators that burrow into the underground burrows of voles and mice, which contain up to 80% of their diet. Although weasels are found all over the world, only those in the Northern Hemisphere change color.

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