What kind of animal is marten? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat Differences from weasels, easy way to tell them apart


What kind of animal is marten? We will introduce and explain its characteristics, ecology, appearance, and habitat. A marten is a mammal that can be seen mainly in Japan. Martens live throughout Japan, and like weasels, they sometimes appear in private homes and cause damage. I will explain what characteristics it has.

What is Ten? About basic status

Martens are carnivores classified in the class Mammalia, order Felidae (order Carnivora), suborder Canis, family Mustelidae, genus Marten. The scientific name is Martes melampus. The body length is 44-55cm, the tail length is 17-23cm, and the weight is 1-1.5kg. It has a lot of hair and lives in Hokkaido and Honshu. Below is a list of basic information. It looks similar to palm civet or weasel species.

English(英名)Japanese marten
scientific name(学名)Martes melampus
classification(分類)Mammalia、 Carnivora、Mustelidae、Martes

About classification

There is a theory that sable and pine martens are combined into one species in the genus Marten, but the basic classification is as follows. The Tsushima marten has been designated as a national natural monument.

Scientific Name
Japanese marten
Martes melampus melampusJapan
Tsusima marten
Martes melampus tsuensisHokkaido
Korean marten
Martes melampus coreensisKorea

About habitat

Most martens live in Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu). However, some of them can also be seen on the Korean Peninsula. However, they are also pests, and if you find them nearby during daylight hours, they are easy to eliminate.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

Martens live in low mountains to subalpine coniferous forests, and are mainly solitary. Martens have the unusual property that their coat color changes between summer and winter. In the summer it is tan with a black face, and in the winter it is tan with a white face. It is good at climbing trees and moves with agility.

What is your personality like?

If you just look at the outside, the marten looks like a very cute animal. However, they are quite aggressive and you need to be careful when encountering them. They may attack you here. They become very strong-willed animals.

What does the ecology look like?

Martens are omnivorous animals and eat everything from small animals to fruits, mice, birds, and insects. Breeding begins in July-August and multiple offspring are born in April-May. The lifespan is about 10 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

Natural enemies of martens include Steller’s sea eagle and white-tailed eagle. Because their bodies are more than one size larger, they are easily caught and eaten. Foxes and wild dogs are also natural enemies.

Are martens listed as an endangered species?

The Tsushima marten, which is a subspecies of the marten, is designated as a near-threatened species. There are several reasons why it is an endangered species.

be exterminated because it is a pest

Martens are pests that cause a variety of damage to humans. They can invade the ceilings and attics of houses and make noise. Manure smells bad. Additionally, martens are aggressive and can develop infections if bitten or scratched. Martens are also omnivorous pests, so they often target crops and livestock. Due to these factors, it will be exterminated.

Habitat destruction, traffic accidents

Habitat destruction and traffic accidents are also cited. Due to land development by humans, their habitat is shrinking, and they are now appearing in residential areas where humans live, causing a negative spiral where they are often run over by cars.

Difference between weasel and marten

Martens are often mistaken for weasels, but they are different creatures. Let’s explain the differences in each item.

Differences in hair color and pattern

Both weasels and martens change their body color between summer and winter, but the difference is that weasels are brownish-brown and martens are yellowish-brown. Weasels have dark brown markings around their eyes, and martens have whitish throats.

Difference in body shape

Weasels have a body length of 16 to 39 cm, while martens have a body length of 25 to 60 cm. The weasel weighs 80 to 800g, and the marten weighs about 0.5kg to 2kg.

difference in behavior

There are also behavioral differences. Weasels tend to be active during the day and night. Martens, on the other hand, are nocturnal and often rest in tree caves during the day.

Can martens be kept?

As explained above, martens have quite aggressive personalities, so it is quite difficult for the average person to keep them.


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