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The ferret is a domestic mammal of the type Mustela putorius furo. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators with males being substantially larger than females. They typically have brown, black, white, or mixed fur, have an average length of 20 inches (51 cm) including a 5 inch (13 cm) tail, weigh about 1.5–4 pounds (0.7–2 kg), and have a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years.Ferrets are crepuscular, which means they spend 14–18 hours a day asleep and are most active around the hours of dawn and dusk. Unlike their polecat ancestors, which are solitary animals, ferrets will live happily in social groups. They are territorial, like to burrow and prefer to sleep in an enclosed area.
The history of the ferret's domestication is uncertain, like that of most other domestic animals, but it is likely that ferrets have been domesticated for at least 2,500 years. They are still used for hunting rabbits in some parts of the world today, but increasingly they are being kept simply as pets.
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