For the Wiltshire village, see Marten, Wiltshire. For the town in Bulgaria, see Marten, Bulgaria. "Martes" redirects here. For the village in Spain, see Martes, Aragon.
European Pine Marten
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
(unranked): Chordata Craniata
Superclass: Tetrapoda
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Placentalia
Superorder: Laurasiatheria
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: Martes
Pinel, 1792
Martes range

The martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Mustelinae, in 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.


Martens are omnivorous animals related to wolverines, minks, badgers, ferrets, and weasels. Their diet consists of squirrels, mice, rabbits, birds, fish, insects, and eggs, and they will also eat fruit and nuts when these are available.[1][2]


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.


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


Recent DNA research has shown that the genus Martes is in fact polyphyletic, placing Martes pennanti and Martes americana outside the genus and allying it with Eira and Gulo, to form a new New World clade.[3] The genus first evolved up to seven million years ago, during the Pliocene.

Cultural references

In the Middle Ages, marten pelts were highly valued goods used as a form of payment in Slavonia, the Croatian Littoral and Dalmatia. The Croatian word for marten, kuna, is the name of the modern Croatian currency.[4] 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.[5]

The Finnish communications company Nokia derives its name, via the river Nokianvirta, from a type of marten locally known as the nokia.[6]


  1. ^ Powell, Roger (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-87196-871-1. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Flynn, J.J. et all (2004). "Molecular Phylogeny of the Carnivora (Mammalia): Assessing the Impact of Increased Sampling on Resolving Enigmatic Relationships". Systematic Biology 54(2): 317–337. 
  4. ^ Croatian National Bank. First Money — History of the Croatian Currency: Kuna and lipa — the Croatian Currency. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
  5. ^ Croatian National Bank. Kuna and Lipa, Coins of Croatia: 1 Kuna Coin, 2 Kuna Coin, 5 Kuna Coin & Commemorative 25 Kuna Coins in Circulation. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
  6. ^ [1] - Retrieved on the 23rd of July 2010

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Marten — steht für eine Variante des Vornamens Martin, häufig in der niederländischen Provinz Drenthe zu finden Dortmund Marten, Stadtteil von Dortmund Haus Marten, Rittersitz im Roßbachtal Marten (Unternehmen), Unternehmen der Fleischwarenindustrie mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Martén — Marten ist ein männlicher Vorname und Nachname. Marten ist eine Abwandlung des Namens Martin und ist häufig in der niederländischen Provinz Drenthe zu finden. Familienname Bekannte Namensträger Elfi Marten Brockmann, ehemalige deutsche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • marten — mid 13c., skin or fur of the marten, from O.Fr. martrine marten fur, noun use of fem. adjective martrin of or pertaining to the marten, from martre marten, from Frankish *martar or some other Germanic source, from P.Gmc. *marthuz (Cf. O.S.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • marten — mar ten, n. [From older martern, marter, martre, F. martre, marte, LL. martures (pl.), fr. L. martes; akin to AS. mear[eth], meard, G. marder, OHG. mardar, Icel. m[ o]r[eth]r. Cf. {Foumart}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several fur bearing… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mårten — ist eine schwedische Form des männlichen Vornamens Martin.[1] Bekannte Namensträger Mårten Mickos (* 1962), finnischer IT Unternehmer Mårten Sandén (* 1962), schwedischer Schriftsteller Mårten Triewald (1691–1747), schwedischer Händler, Techniker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Märten — ist der Name folgender Orte: Märten (Memmingen), Ortsteil der kreisfreien Stadt Memmingen Märten ist der Name folgender Personen: Heribert Märten (1935–1995), deutscher Politiker Siehe auch: Marten, Merten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • marten — [märt′ n] n. pl. martens or marten [ME martren < OFr martrine, adj. < martre, marten < Frank * martar, akin to Ger marder, OE mearth < PGmc marthu < IE * martu , bride (euphemism for the taboo IE name); akin to * meri: see MARRY1]… …   English World dictionary

  • marten — marten, martin A marten is an animal like a weasel, whereas a martin is a bird of the swallow family …   Modern English usage

  • marten — ► NOUN ▪ a weasel like forest mammal that is hunted for fur in some countries. ORIGIN from Old French peau martrine marten fur , from Germanic …   English terms dictionary

  • Marten — Mar ten (m[aum]r t[e^]n), n. (Zo[ o]l.) A bird. See {Martin}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Marten — Marten, so v.w. Bau der Bienen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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