Did You Know? 19 Incredible Marten Facts

One of the interesting marten facts is that an American marten has large eyes with a triangular head.

The marten, from the family of Mustelidae, is an animal with thick brown fur. It belongs to the family of weasels and fishers and belongs to the class of mammals. There are several known subspecies of this animal, occupying various parts of the world. The Martes martes or pine marten has its habitat or range in Europe. American martens, as indicated by the name, occupy northern parts of America, like Canada or Alaska.

Almost all martens have similar characteristics, like a slender body with dark brown fur. These animals are excellent climbers, which has earned them the nickname tree-cat. Apart from being excellent climbers, martens are also agile swimmers. Some of its species, like the beech marten, can be found to be living very adjacent to human dwellings. Their dens are often seen in buildings. Although they are sometimes regarded as docile and timid animals, martens are quite curious by their nature.

For more relatable content, check out these pine marten facts and American marten facts for kids.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fruits, small mammals, insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

3.7-8.4 lb (1.7-3.8 kg)

How long are they?

14-26 in (35.6-66 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark brown, black, light brown, gray body, cream

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Humans and predators

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern: American marten, beech marten Vulnerable: Nilgiri marten

Where you'll find them

Taiga, boreal forests, pine forests


Alaska, Canada, USA, Russia, India





Scientific Name

Martes americana: American marten Martes martes: European pine marten Martes gwatkinsii: Nilgiri marten





Marten Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a marten?

A marten is a species of animal from the family of weasels. It resides in trees.

What class of animal does a marten belong to?

Martens, from the Martes genus, belong to the class of Mammalia. This genus includes animals like pine marten from Europe, Nilgiri marten, American marten, and so on.

How many martens are there in the world?

Martens are species of animals that also go by the name tree-cat. Their population varies according to species. The population of Nilgiri martens has reduced drastically and is only around 1,000. The population numbers of American martens, on the other hand, are not specified, while the number of pine martens is less than 3,500 in Scotland.

Where does a marten live?

The habitat of martens includes taiga, boreal forest, pine forest, and so on. These animals are called tree-cats, owing to their habitat and ability to climb. The home range of martens is quite varied and changes according to its subspecies. The American martens have their own unique range or habitat. They are mostly found in fir trees and shore pines. A beech marten, on the other hand, prefers mountainous ranges or rock cropping.

What is Marten's habitat?

The range or habitat of martens are quite varied, and their distribution varies by their subspecies. Martens are animals that inhabit trees. Beech martens can be found hiding in the hollow crevices of trees in the day. The home range of a pine marten is in Scotland. Northern parts of the United States of America are inhabited by beech martens and American martens. An American marten can be most commonly observed throughout the northern forests of Canada and Alaska. The Nilgiri marten is specific to India and its grasslands.

Who do martens live with?

A marten or tree-cat is a dark brown animal. Most martens prefer to live a solitary life.

How long does a marten live?

Martens can live for 12-18 years.

How do they reproduce?

Martens are mammals and give birth to young ones. With the onset of the mating season, these animals move out from their dens in search of their mate. These animals are polygynous, where males can mate with numerous females. The males are territorial and fiercely guard their dens. The females have natal dens in which they give birth to their young ones. In a single season, the females can give birth to up to five young ones.

What is their conservation status?

Both the population and the conservation status of martens vary according to their subspecies. Pine marten has been designated as Least Concern, and so are the American martens. The Nilgiri martens are labeled Vulnerable.

Marten Fun Facts

What do martens look like?

A pine marten is spotted with dark brown fur and a light-colored throat.

Martens have a long and slender body full of fur. This body fur can have a diversity of colors, from shades of dark gray to brown, and this color somewhat varies according to its subfamilies. The pine marten is generally dark brown in color, while the American marten has lighter shades of brown. A beech marten sports a very long tail, and this tail is not much furred. Their throat patches are always white.

American martens have a triangle-shaped head. On this head, they have a pointy muzzle and large protruding eyes. They also sport cat-like ears.

How cute are they?

Martens are very cute with their brown coat and adorable face. Their young ones are cuter to look at.

How do they communicate?

Scent marking is the main form of communication among martens.

How big is a marten?

The range of martens varies according to their subspecies. An American marten can have a body length of 20-27.6 in (50.8-70 cm). Its tail itself ranges from 5.4-6.4 in (13.7-16.3 cm). A beech marten can be 16.5-19 in (42-48.3 cm) in length. They are almost twice the size of a weasel.

How fast can a marten run?

Their exact speed is not known.

How much does a marten weigh?

The range of weight is 3.7-8.4 lb (1.7-3.8 kg). American martens are lighter and weigh between 0.6-2.8 lb (0.3-1.3 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for the male and female animals of this species.

What would you call a baby marten?

The young one is called a kit.

What do they eat?

Martens prey on a variety of foods. They are omnivorous and can prey on smaller mammals, nuts, fruits, types of berries, and so on. Their particular favorite is red squirrels. These animals come down from the trees to hunt.

Are they aggressive?

No, they are not aggressive or dangerous. These animals prey on food like nuts or seeds and get only hostile if their territory is encroached upon.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these species of animals will not be good pets. They prey on a range of food which includes even small mammals. They will make the rooms stinky.

Did you know...

Martens are species from the family of weasels, which have a dark brownish body. The males of this species are larger than the marten females. The geographic location of the members determines the color of their fur. They are surnamed tree-cats because of their ability to climb. They are also excellent swimmers.

The primary food of martens is smaller birds, fruits, berries, and nuts. Martens are, in turn, hunted and eaten by predators like bobcats, wolves, coyotes. These animals avoid other more prominent species like cats and foxes, though they are unlikely to kill them. As predators, martens help maintaining the balance in the ecosystem.

All marten young ones are altricial. This means that the babies require nurture and care from the mothers before they are fit to live on their own.

Different types of marten

The marten is an animal belonging to the Martes genus, which has numerous subspecies. There are various types of martens, all of which mostly sport dark brown fur and a long slender body and can reach a considerable length. The numerous types include Martes americana or American marten, Martes martes or pine marten, Japanese marten, and so on.

Marten martes have some differences in their appearances. American martens have a fluffy tail that takes over almost half of its body. There is also the yellow-throated marten, which has light-colored fur along its throat. All martens prefer to live in the forests. The northern parts of America, like Alaska, are called home by America martens, while beech martens are found in Spain. Pine martens are primarily found in northern Ireland. If you sight a pine marten in Scotland or Wales, you can report it to the wildlife trusts in the areas.

Comparisons with similar animals

Weasels and martens are similar species and belong to the same family. Fishers are also members of the same family but are more extensive in length than the American martens. Weasels, on the other hand, have longer and elongated bodies when compared to martens. If compared to martens, weasel has shorter legs as well. There is also some difference in diets. Weasels mostly feed on smaller rodents, hamsters, and alike. However, martens feed on smaller insects and even berries and nuts. While martens prefer forests, especially the species like pine marten and the American marten, weasels occupy gardens and other such open spaces. On the other hand, fishers also tend to occupy boreal-type forests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our interesting stoat facts and ferret facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Marten coloring pages.



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