This is a featured article. Click here for more information. A loomis drawing books pdf-and-ink drawing depicting a mink sitting on all fours. Only the right side of the mink is visible.
A topographical map depicting the Gulf of Maine region, with the land being colored green. The main justification for a separate species designation is the size difference between the two minks, but other distinctions have been made, such as its redder fur. Its actual size is speculative, based largely on tooth-remains. Largest of the minks, the sea mink was more desirable to fur traders and became extinct in the late 19th or early 20th century. A wet American mink with pale brown fur, dark brown eyes, long fingers, and a skinny tail. Its head is turned to the right and it is standing on a rock next to water.
Most sea mink remains, nearly all of them skull fragments, have come from shell middens, but a complete specimen has never been found. A study conducted in 2000 by Mead et al. Loomis by claiming that the size range for the largest sea mink specimen was beyond that of the American mink, thereby making it a separate species. But a 2001 study by Graham concluded that this size difference was insufficient evidence to classify the sea mink as its own species and that it should be considered a subspecies. Graham supposed that the size difference was caused by environmental factors. A 2007 study compared the dental makeup of the sea mink to the American mink, and concluded that they were distinct enough to be considered separate species.
Indians referred to it as the “mousebeysoo”, which means “wet thing”. It was named “sea mink” because it was always found near the coast by fur traders, and subsequently the American mink was often referred to as the “wood mink”. Most sea mink remains are unearthed on the coast of Maine. There were reports of unusually large mink furs being collected from Nova Scotia regularly. The sea mink may have reached that area by traveling up rivers, or may have been brought there by Native Americans. Sea mink bones have been unearthed in Canada, although these may have been carried there by Native Americans from the Gulf of Maine. Maine may have represented a northernmost barrier in their range.