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Thursday, April 25 2024

American Marten: Weasel-like mammal in genus Martes

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Commonly called “marten” but better known by other names include the fisher is a weasel-like mammal in the genus Martes within the subfamily Guloninae, They have bushy tails and large paws with partially retractile claws. The fur varies from yellowish to dark brown, depending on the species; it is valued by animal trappers for the fur trade. Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in the taiga, which inhabits coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the northern hemisphere. short-legged, bushy-tailed, medium-sized carnivorous mammal in the weasel family, largely nocturnal and found in forests across the colder parts of the northern hemisphere. The American marten is broadly distributed in northern North America. From north to south, its range extends from the northern limit of the treeline in Arctic Alaska and Canada south to New York.

Martens are solitary animals, meeting only to breed in late spring or early summer. American marten reaches sexual maturity by 1 year of age, but effective breeding may not occur before 2 years of age. In captivity, 15-year-old females bred successfully. In the wild, 12-year-old females were reproductive. Litters of up to five blind and nearly hairless kits are born in early spring. They are weaned after around two months and leave the mother to fend for themselves at about three to four months of age. They are omnivorous. Kits generally stay in the company of their mother through the end of their first summer, and most disperse in the fall. The timing of juvenile dispersal is not consistent throughout American marten’s distribution, ranging from early August to October.

Martens are forest-dwelling and usually solitary. They climb easily and feed rapaciously on animals, fruit, and carrion. The American marten is an opportunistic predator, influenced by the local and seasonal abundance and availability of potential prey. They require about 80 cal/day while at rest. American marten diet may shift seasonally or annually.

The marten is populous in the northern Ontario community of Big Trout Lake.

In the Middle Ages, marten pelts were highly valued goods used as a form of payment. The Finnish communications company Nokia derives its name, via the river Nokianvirta, from a type of marten locally known as the Nokia.

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Thilak T. Shetty

The author is a BA Sociology  graduate. He is into poetry and literature. His varied interests include Literature, Music, Culture, Politics, Philosophy And Nationalism studies.

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