Usually marten fur is made out of Martes Americana (Latin) woodland species, or as we think so. American Marten is entirely different from European pine marten and the Russian sable. Those are different breeds of the same Mustelidea family. During 1800′s to 1940′s were was a significant decline in this population due to fires, trapping and cutting lumber. Canadians closed the marten trapping seasons during that period. Today martens lives in 17 states of America, while their trapping takes place at least in 10 states.
Characteristics of martens and their way of living and breeding
Marten fur feels and looks silky, their guard hair is up to 11/2 inches length. Hues and shade may vary from light grey to darker brown. Most of martens have orange or white patches on their throats. Females are consistently smaller than males. The average weight of a male marten is 2-3 pounds with the overall length of 25-30 inches. Their furry tail is as long as 9 to 12 inches. You may notice that their tail has a darker hues than the rest of the body.
Besides the length, shades and hues of their fur, martens usually has 38 teeth, which includes 4 sharp canine teeth and flattered molars that helps them to chew food. They have five toes on each foot, they also have a toe that looks like a thumb, but it’s reduced in size. As a part of mustelidea family they have a pair of scent glands, from which they release musk, just like skunks and weasels. During the mating season they give off odors with their glands near the stomach.
Martens have semi-retractable claws that helps them to climb and kill prey. Most martens mate in July and the period varies from 220 up to 275 days. Female martens usually gives birth up to 4 offspring. Males breeds with more than one female, while they are responsible for the raising of young. It takes them about 4-5 months to reach the size of adult marten. The breeding starts after their second year of life.
As most of weasels, martens are nocturnal animals. They move quickly through the trees and over the land. Their metabolic system is high, so they have to feed regularly. These animals are predators so they kill smaller prey, sometimes even squirrels. Martens are not very social breed, they are more of loners and led a solitary life, except for breeding seasons.
Martens are not used to water and wet weather, but they are perfect swimmers.They tend to hunt around mountain streams so swimming ability is necessary. In shallow water streams they kill off spawning fish. The desire to kill for food is greater than the fear of getting wet.
When it is the bulk of the year martens tend to live in separate territories, males in one and females in the other. The size of territory may vary due to foods availability. However, female tend to live in smaller habitats and even in poorer territories.
Martens do not have regular paths, trails and circuits, therefore due to territories irregularity it is much difficult to trap martens. Furrier and hunters have to wait patiently if they desire marten fur. Due to rains, winds and snowstorms martens traveling can be interrupted. Because they migrate quite often, they only need a temporary shelter.
Marten expansion throughout the world
This was only the characteristic of American Martens, because similar species lives and breeds like that in other parts of the world. There are at least 9 different species or subfamilies of Mustelidea and American marten is one of them. We’ve already talked about some of those subspecies and types of fur:
- American Marten (Martes americana)
- Newfoundland Pine Marten (Martes americana atrata)
- Yellow-throated Marten (Martes flavigula)
- Beech Marten (Martes foina)
- Nilgiri Marten (Martes gwatkinsii)
- Pine Marten (Martes martes)
- Japanese Marten (Martes melampus)
- Fisher (Martes pennanti)
- Sable (Martes zibellina)
They all look alike, just like their fur, but professional furrier will see the difference between these subfamilies of Mustelidea. Try not to get confused by trying on “one of the kind martens fur coat”