marten(redirected from beech marten)
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any one predatory mammal of the genus Martes of the family Mustelidae. The body length is 40 to 80 cm. The trunk is elongated and flexible, and the tail is long (20–50 cm) and sometimes bushy. The fur, which is very soft and fluffy, is predominantly reddish brown and brown. There are six or eight species, distributed in Europe, Asia, and North America. Four species are found in the USSR. The European, or pine, marten (Martes martes) is found in the forest and forest-steppe zones of Europe, in the Caucasus, in the Urals, and in the southern part of Western Siberia. The stone marten (M. foina) inhabits the mountains and some plains of Europe and of Southwest, Middle, and Central Asia. The sable (M. zibellina) is found in the northern Cisural region, Siberia, and the Far East. The yellow-throated marten (M. flavigula) inhabits the Amur region and the Primor’e.
Martens live predominantly in forests. Only the stone marten is encountered in open areas, usually on mountains and often in populated places. Martens feed on small rodents, birds, nuts, berries, and fruits. They climb well and are nocturnal. Breeding occurs in July and August; the gestation period is 236 to 274 days. The hybrid of the sable and pine marten is called the kidas. Martens, particularly the sable, are commercially valuable for their fur.
REFERENCESOgnev, S. I. Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran. (Zveri Vostochnoi Evropy i Severnoi Azii), vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2, part 1. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1967.