WEASEL (we'z'1),.(Heb. kho'led).
The Viverrida and Mustelida appear, both an ciently and among ourselves, collected into a kind of group, under an impression that they belong to the feline family ; hence we, like the ancients, still use the words civet cat, tree cat, polecat, etc.; and, in reality, a considerable number of the species have partially retractile claws, the pupils of the eyes being contractile like those of cats, of which they even bear the spotted and streaked liveries. All such naturally have arboreal habits, and from their low lengthy forms are no less disposed to burrow ; but many of them are excellent swim mers. One of these species, allied to, if not the same as, genetta barbara, is the Thela 'Elan, by Bochart described as having 'various colors, and as being spotted like a pard. There are besides, in the same region, the nirnse, ferret or polecat (putorius vulgaris), for these two are not specific ally distinct; fert-d-helle, the weasel (mustela vulgaris ilfricana), differing from ours chiefly in its superior size and darker colors. A Paradox
urns, identical with or nearly allied to P. typus, occurs in Arabia ; for it seems these animals are found wherever there are palmifer•, the date-palm in particular being a favorite residence of the species. Two or three varieties, or perhaps species, of items occur in Egypt solely; for the name is again generical in the Arabian dialects, and denotes the ichneumon. Arabia proper has several other animals, not clearly distinguished, though belonging to the families here noticed. The term weasel is probably the best translation of the word kho'-led (Lev. xi:29). (See CAT.) C. H. S.