The martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Guloninae, in the family Mustelidae. Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in taigas, and are found in coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the Northern Hemisphere. They have bushy tails and large paws with partially retractible claws. The fur varies from yellowish to dark brown, depending on the species, and, in many cases, is valued by fur trappers.

Temporal range: Miocene–recent
Martes martes crop
European pine marten
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Guloninae
Genus: Martes
Pinel, 1792

See text

Martes range
Marten ranges:
  • M. americana = cyan & teal
  • M. flavigula = dark blue & sepia
  • M. foina = rust, brown & sepia
  • M. gwatkinsii
  • M. martes = orange, rust & grass-green
  • M. melampus = yellow
  • M. pennanti = purple & teal
  • M. zibellina = green & grass-green


Martes flavigula, yellow-throated marten
Yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula), Thailand

Results of DNA research indicate that the genus Martes is polyphyletic, with some studies placing Martes americana outside the genus and allying it with Eira and Gulo, to form a new New World clade.[1][2] The genus first evolved up to seven million years ago during the Miocene epoch.


The Modern English "marten" comes from the Middle English martryn, in turn borrowed from the Anglo-French martrine and Old French martre (Latin martes), itself from a Germanic source; cf. Old English mearþ, Old Norse mörðr, and Old High German and Yiddish מאַרדאַר mardar.

Ecology and behaviour

Martens are solitary animals, meeting only to breed in late spring or early summer. 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. Due to their habit of seeking warm and dry places and to gnaw on soft materials, martens cause damage to soft plastic and rubber parts in cars and other parked vehicles, annually costing millions of euros in Central Europe alone, thus leading to the offering of marten-damage insurance, "marten-proofing", and electronic repellent devices.[3][4][5][6] They are omnivorous.

Cultural references


The marten is popular in the northern Ontario community of Big Trout Lake. During the fur trade, commissioned by the Hudson Bay Company in the 17th and 18th centuries, the marten pelt was typically fashioned into mittens. The marten is still traded locally. The locals place a high value on this pelt, typically trading it for consumable goods.


In the Middle Ages, marten pelts were highly valued goods used as a form of payment in Slavonia, the Croatian Littoral, and Dalmatia. The banovac, a coin struck and used between 1235 and 1384, included the image of a marten. This is one of the reasons why the Croatian word for marten, kuna, is the name of the modern Croatian currency.[7] A marten is depicted on the obverse of the 1-, 2-, and 5-kuna coins, minted since 1993, and on the reverse of the 25-kuna commemorative coins.[8]

A running marten is shown on the coat of arms of Slavonia and subsequently on the modern design of the coat of arms of Croatia. The official seal of the Croatian Sabor (parliament) from 1497 until the late 18th century had a similar design.[9][10]


The Finnish communications company Nokia derives its name, via the river Nokianvirta, from a type of marten locally known as the nokia.[11]


  1. ^ Flynn JJ, Finarelli JA, Zehr S, Hsu J, Nedbal MA (2005). "Molecular phylogeny of the carnivora (mammalia): assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships". Syst. Biol. 54 (2): 317–37. doi:10.1080/10635150590923326. JSTOR 20061233. PMID 16012099.
  2. ^ Koepfli KP; et al. (Feb 2008). "Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation". BMC Biology. 6 (10). doi:10.1186/1741-7007-6-10. PMC 2276185. PMID 18275614.
  3. ^ "Marderinfo" [Information about martens] (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Marderschaden - Tipps gegen Marder" [Marten injuries - Tips against martens] (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Tipps gegen Marder" [Tips against martens] (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Marderschäden am Auto – wie ist das versichert?" [Car damage caused by martens—is that a part of insurance?] (in German). Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  7. ^ Croatian National Bank. First Money — History of the Croatian Currency Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine: Kuna and lipa — the Croatian Currency. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
  8. ^ Croatian National Bank. Kuna and Lipa, Coins of Croatia Archived 2009-06-22 at the Wayback Machine: 1 Kuna Coin Archived 2009-06-22 at the Wayback Machine, 2 Kuna Coin Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, 5 Kuna Coin Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, & Commemorative 25 Kuna Coins in Circulation. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
  9. ^ Mario Jareb (2010). Hrvatski nacionalni simboli (Eng.: Croatian National Symbols). ISBN 9789532972306.
  10. ^ Ivan Bojničić-Kninski - Grbovnica kraljevine "Slavonije", (1895) - PDF file (in Croatian)
  11. ^ Story of Nokia, retrieved on the 17 July 2013

External links

  • Data related to Martes at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Martes at Wikimedia Commons
American marten

The American marten or American pine marten (Martes americana) is a North American member of the family Mustelidae, sometimes referred to as the pine marten. The name "pine marten" is derived from the common but distinct Eurasian species of Martes. It differs from the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in that it is smaller in size and lighter in colour.

Beech marten

The beech marten (Martes foina), also known as the stone marten, house marten or white breasted marten, is a species of marten native to much of Europe and Central Asia, though it has established a feral population in North America. It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its wide distribution, its large population, and its presence in a number of protected areas. It is superficially similar to the pine marten, but differs from it by its smaller size and habitat preferences. While the pine marten is a forest specialist, the beech marten is a more generalist and adaptable species, occurring in a number of open and forest habitats.

Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens is an English footwear and clothing brand, headquartered in Wollaston in Wellingborough. They also make a range of accessories – shoe care products, clothing, bags, etc. In addition to Dr. Martens, they are also commonly known as Doctor Martens, Doc Martens, DMs or Docs. The footwear is distinguished by its air-cushioned sole (dubbed Bouncing Soles), upper shape, welted construction and yellow stitching. The boots have been the choice of footwear among various groups in British culture: in the 1960s skinheads started to wear them, "Docs" being the usual naming, and by the late 1980s, they were popular among scooter riders, punks, goths, some new wave musicians, and members of other youth subcultures, most notably the grunge fashion scene in the early nineties.In 2006, Griggs' 1960 Dr. Martens AirWair boot was named in the list of British design icons which included Concorde, Mini, Jaguar E-Type, Aston Martin DB5, Supermarine Spitfire, Tube map, World Wide Web and the AEC Routemaster bus.

European pine marten

The European pine marten (Martes martes), known most commonly as the pine marten in Anglophone Europe, and less commonly also known as baum marten, or sweet marten, is an animal native to Northern Europe belonging to the mustelid family, which also includes mink, otter, badger, wolverine, and weasel.

Fisher (animal)

The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North America. It is a member of the mustelid family (commonly referred to as the weasel family), and is in the monospecific genus Pekania. The fisher is closely related to, but larger than the American marten (Martes americana). The fisher is a forest-dwelling creature whose range covers much of the boreal forest in Canada to the northern United States. Names derived from aboriginal languages include pekan, pequam, wejack, and woolang. It is sometimes misleadingly referred to as a fisher cat, although it is not a cat.Males and females look similar. Adult males are 90 to 120 cm (35–47 in) long and weigh 3.5 to 6.0 kilograms (8–13 lb). Adult females are 75 to 95 cm (30–37 in) long and weigh 2.0 to 2.5 kg (4–6 lb). The fur of the fisher varies seasonally, being denser and glossier in the winter. During the summer, the color becomes more mottled, as the fur goes through a moulting cycle. The fisher prefers to hunt in full forest. Although an agile climber, it spends most of its time on the forest floor, where it prefers to forage around fallen trees. An omnivore, the fisher feeds on a wide variety of small animals and occasionally on fruits and mushrooms. It prefers the snowshoe hare and is one of the few animals able to prey successfully on porcupines. Despite its common name, it rarely eats fish.

The reproductive cycle of the fisher lasts almost a year. Female fishers give birth to a litter of three or four kits in the spring. They nurse and care for their kits until late summer, when they are old enough to set out on their own. Females enter estrus shortly after giving birth and leave the den to find a mate. Implantation of the blastocyst is delayed until the following spring, when they give birth and the cycle is renewed.

Fishers have few predators besides humans. They have been trapped since the 18th century for their fur. Their pelts were in such demand that they were extirpated from several parts of the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Conservation and protection measures have allowed the species to rebound, but their current range is still reduced from its historic limits. In the 1920s, when pelt prices were high, some fur farmers attempted to raise fishers. However, their unusual delayed reproduction made breeding difficult. When pelt prices fell in the late 1940s, most fisher farming ended. While fishers usually avoid human contact, encroachments into forest habitats have resulted in some conflicts.

Japanese marten

The Japanese marten (Martes melampus) is a mammal in the marten genus most closely related to the sable. It is 0.5 m (1.5 ft) in length typically, not counting a 20-cm-long tail (7.9 in), and between 1,000 and 1,500 grams (2.2 and 3.3 lb) in weight. Males are generally larger than females. The pelage varies in color from dark brown to dull yellow with a cream-colored throat.Both males and females are territorial, and the size of each individual's territory depending on food availability. The Japanese marten is omnivorous, preferring meat from fish, frogs, and small birds and mammals, but consuming insects, fruit, and seeds when necessary.The two confirmed subspecies of Japanese marten are:

M. m. melampus lives on several of the Japanese islands.

M. m. tsuensis is found on Tsushima Island.It has been recorded in the southern Korean Peninsula, but no locality details prove a wild origin and no native population has been confirmed.

Joop den Uyl

Johannes Marten den Uijl, better known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch: [ˈjoːb dɛn ˈœyl] (listen); 9 August 1919 – 24 December 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977.

Den Uyl a economist by occupation, worked during Second World War as a civil servant for the Ministry of Economic Affairs from 1942 until 1945 and as a journalist for the underground newspapers Het Parool and Vrij Nederland from 1942 until 1949 when he became director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation serving from 1949 until 1963. Den Uyl was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after election of 1956 serving from 6 November 1956 until 5 June 1963 when he was appointed as an Alderman of Amsterdam serving from 8 November 1962 until 14 April 1965. Following the fall of the Cabinet Marijnen on 27 February 1965 a new cabinet was formed and Den Uyl was asked to become Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Cals. Den Uyl accepted and resigned as Alderman the same day she took office as the new Minister of Economic Affairs on 14 April 1965. On 13 September 1966 Anne Vondeling resigned as Leader of the Labour Party, Den Uyl was chosen to succeed him and became the Lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the election of 1967. Following the election Den Uyl served as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives and a Member of the House of Representatives from 23 February 1967 until 11 May 1973. After the election of 1972 Den Uyl for a second time as Lijsttrekker won again four seats and after a long formation period a coalition agreement with the Catholic People's Party (KVP), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the Democrats 66 (D'66) was made which resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Den Uyl with Den Uyl becoming Prime Minister taking office on 11 May 1973.

After his prime-ministership, Den Uyl remained in active politics and returned as the Parliamentary leader in House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 10 September 1981 and a Member of the House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 11 September 1981. He became Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Minister for Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from 11 September 1981 until 29 May 1982 in the Cabinet Van Agt II. After the fall of this cabinet, Den Uyl again became the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives from 7 September 1982 until his resignation as Parliamentary leader and as the Labour Party Party leader on 21 July 1986, he was succeeded in both positions by Wim Kok. He served as a Member of the House of Representatives for the last time from 16 September 1982 until his death on 24 December 1987.

He was seen as an idealistic, but also polarizing politician. Throughout history, Dutch political leaders have tended to soothing manners - Den Uyl was one of a relatively few exceptions. People either loved him or hated him. Followers of his idealistic policies called him Ome Joop (Uncle Joop). He was criticized for creating a budget deficit and polarizing Dutch politics. Associated with Den Uyl was the maakbare samenleving (the makeable society, the idea that society is constructed and that government is a player in the construction). Another idea associated with Den Uyl was de verbeelding aan de macht (imagination in the driver's seat, the power of conceptual thinking, particularly in politics).

Maria Marten, or the Mystery of the Red Barn

Maria Marten, or the Mystery of the Red Barn is a 1913 British silent drama film directed by Maurice Elvey. It was based on the 1827 Red Barn Murder. A Suffolk squire murders a young pregnant woman who had demanded that he marry her. The story of Maria Marten was a popular stage melodrama of the Victorian era, and five films based on the story were made between 1902 and 1935.

As of August 2010, the film is missing from the BFI National Archive, and is listed as one of the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" lost films.

Marten, Bulgaria

Marten is a town in the northern part of Bulgaria. It is located in Ruse Province.

Marten Beach

Marten Beach is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124. It is located on the northeast shore of Lesser Slave Lake, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) west of Highway 88. It is approximately 36 kilometres (22 mi) north of the Town of Slave Lake and 238 kilometres (148 mi) northwest of the City of Edmonton.

Marten Beach is adjacent to Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, Carlver Creek to the north and Marten Creek to the south.

Marten Falls First Nation

Marten Falls First Nation is an Anishinaabe First Nation reserve located in northern Ontario. The First Nation occupies communities on both sides of the Albany River in Northern Ontario, including Ogoki Post (Ojibwe: Ogookiing) in the Cochrane District and Marten Falls in the Kenora District. As of December 2013, the First Nation had a total registered population of 728 people, of which their on-reserve population was 328 people.


The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.

Newfoundland pine marten

The Newfoundland pine marten (Martes americana atrata) is a genetically distinct subspecies of the American marten (Martes americana) found only on the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; it is sometimes referred to as the American marten (Newfoundland population) and is one of only 14 species of land mammals native to the island. The marten was listed as endangered by the COSEWIC in 2001 and has been protected since 1934, however the population still declines. The Newfoundland marten has been geographically and reproductively isolated from the mainland marten population for 7000 years. The Newfoundland pine marten is similar in appearance to its continental cousin, but is slightly larger, with dark brown fur with an orange/yellow patch on the throat. Females are an average weight of 772 grams and males have an average weight of 1275 grams. The Newfoundland subspecies is also observed to inhabit a wider range of forest types than its mainland counterparts. The population characteristics suggest that the Newfoundland marten is a product of unique ecological setting and evolutionary selective factors acting on the isolated island population. The Newfoundland pine marten is omnivorous, feeding on mainly small mammals, along with birds, old carcasses, insects and fruits; it is currently found in suitable pockets of mature forest habitat, on the west coast of Newfoundland and in and around Terra Nova National Park. The Pine Marten Study Area (PMSA) is located in southwestern Newfoundland and is a 2078 km2 wildlife reserve that was created in 1973 to protect the Newfoundland Marten.

Nilgiri marten

The Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) is the only species of marten found in southern India. It occurs in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats.

Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

The pendant portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are a pair of full-length wedding portraits by Rembrandt. They were painted on the occasion of the marriage of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit in 1634. Formerly owned by the Rothschild family, they became joinedly owned by the Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum in 2015 after both museums managed to contribute half of the purchase price of €160 million, a record for works by Rembrandt.

Red Barn Murder

The Red Barn Murder was a notorious murder committed in Polstead, Suffolk, England in 1827. A young woman, Maria Marten, was shot dead by her lover William Corder. The two had arranged to meet at the Red Barn, a local landmark, before eloping to Ipswich. Maria was never seen alive again and Corder fled the scene. He sent letters to Marten's family claiming that she was in good health, but her body was later discovered buried in the barn after her stepmother spoke of having dreamed about the murder.

Corder was tracked down in London, where he had married and started a new life. He was brought back to Suffolk and found guilty of murder in a well-publicised trial. He was hanged at Bury St Edmunds in 1828 and a huge crowd witnessed the execution. The story provoked numerous newspaper articles, songs and plays. The village where the crime had taken place became a tourist attraction and the barn was stripped by souvenir hunters. The plays and ballads remained popular throughout the next century and continue to be performed today.


The sable (Martes zibellina) is a species of marten, a small carnivorous mammal primarily inhabiting the forest environments of Russia, from the Ural Mountains throughout Siberia, and northern Mongolia. Its habitat also borders eastern Kazakhstan, China, North Korea and Hokkaidō, Japan. Its range in the wild originally extended through European Russia to Poland and Scandinavia. Historically, it has been hunted for its highly valued dark brown or black fur, which remains a luxury good to this day. While hunting is still common in Russia, most fur on the market is now commercially farmed.

Sand martin

The sand martin (Riparia riparia) or European sand martin, bank swallow in the Americas, and collared sand martin in the Indian Subcontinent, is a migratory passerine bird in the swallow family. It has a wide range in summer, embracing practically the whole of Europe and the Mediterranean countries, part of northern Asia and also North America. It winters in eastern and southern Africa, South America and the Indian Subcontinent.

Yellow-throated marten

The yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula) is an Asian marten species, which is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide distribution, evidently relatively stable population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and lack of major threats.The yellow-throated marten is also known as the kharza, and is the largest marten in the Old World, with the tail making up more than half its length. Its fur is brightly colored, consisting of a unique blend of black, white, golden-yellow and brown. It is an omnivore, whose sources of food range from fruit and nectar to small deer. The yellow-throated marten is a fearless animal with few natural predators, because of its powerful build, its bright coloration and unpleasant odor. It shows little fear of humans or dogs, and is easily tamed.Although similar in several respects to the smaller beech marten, it is sharply differentiated from other martens by its unique color and the structure of its baculum. It is probably the most ancient form of marten, having likely originated during the Pliocene, as indicated by its geographical distribution and its atypical coloration.The first written description of the yellow-throated marten in the Western World is given by Thomas Pennant in his History of Quadrupeds (1781), in which he named it "White-cheeked Weasel". Pieter Boddaert featured it in his Elenchus Animalium with the name Mustela flavigula. For a long period after the Elenchus' publication, the existence of the yellow-throated marten was considered doubtful by many zoologists, until a skin was presented to the Museum of the East India Company in 1824 by Thomas Hardwicke.

Extant Carnivora species

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