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Marten facts for kids

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American marten
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
Genus: ''Martes''

The Martens are small mammals in the family Mustelidae. They belong to the genus Martes, with eight species. They live in the Northern Hemisphere, and are found in North America, Canada, Europe and Asia.


Martens are carnivores which mainly hunt at night. They have thin bodies, long, bushy tails, short legs and pointed faces. Their fur is usually brown with pale chest. Martens live in forests. They have claws that retract, like cats, so they can easily climb trees. They live by themselves and do not like other martens living too close to them. They eat mostly small mammals like squirrels, voles, mice, rabbits, but also fish, insects, eggs and sometimes fruits (mostly berries) when available.

They meet to mate in late spring or early summer and have a litter of up to five babies. Little martens, called 'kits', are born blind and naked in early spring, after long gestation.

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