The sea mink is thought to have been exterminated around about 1894 thanks to constant trapping for their fur. It was valuable because of its large size so the pelt fetched a higher price and it was actively sought by trappers.
|The fabled Sea Mink|
These close relatives to the American Mink lived on the Atlantic coast, and were for a while considered to be a subspecies of the American Mink, but recent research has shown that the two are distinct species.
In their time, the Sea Minks lived off of the ocean, consuming fish and mollusks. The body of the sea mink was significantly longer than that of the closely related American mink, and also bulkier, leading to a pelt that was almost twice the size of the other species. The longest specimen recorded was said to be 82.6 cm (32.5 in). The fur of the sea mink was said to be coarser and redder than the American mink's, and produced a distinctive odor.
Although well known to fur hunters, it became extinct before being scientifically described, so little is known about its habits. Existing data suggest it was nocturnal and solitary.