Marten

Martes americana

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  • Marten | The National Geographical Society c1918 Photo: Tim Gage
  • Marten | The National Geographical Society c1918 Photo: Tim Gage
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Marten Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Other names

American Marten, Pine Marten

Order

Carnivora

Family

Mustelidae

Size

Martens are generally between 1.2 and 2.25 feet in length.

Lifespan

up to 17 years

Weight

Marten (Martes americana) facts, habitat, diet, range, martin pictures and more to help you learn to identify the elusive mammal.

Diet

Omnivore

Breeding

Both male and female Martens reach sexual maturity by two years of age. Courtship is long and appears to be rather fun, generally involving playful wrestling. Breeding occurs in late spring to early summer.

Range

Northern North America

Number of Offspring

1-5 Kits

What does the Marten look like?

American Martens (Pine Martens) are lanky weasels with large rounded ears, stocky legs and bushy tails. Their fur is long and shiny and ranges in color from a buff yellow to cinnamon brown to nearly black. Their heads are lighter in color and their legs and tails are darker. Males are larger than females, but both sexes look similar in appearance.

Marten Habitat

Forests

Marten Facts

American Martens are primarily solitary mammals except in mating season. They spend most of their time in the trees, thus are excellent climbers. They mark trails from tree to tree with powerful scent glands. However, they do most of their hunting for their favorite prey, voles, on the ground. They are also incredible swimmers and have no problems spending time in water. They are most active during dusk and dawn, but are otherwise mainly nocturnal. Their natural predators include Birds of Prey, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Foxes and Coyotes to name a few. They were trapped to the point of extinction in several areas of their native habitats. In recent years, reintroduction efforts have proven successful.

See also