American pine marten

Females can postpone embryo development up to 200 days, and the pregnancy only lasts about 28 days

Bailey Parsons

American pine marten


Females can postpone embryo development up to 200 days, and the pregnancy only lasts about 28 days

Population >4,000

Cloaked in a lustrous coat of fur, the American pine marten’s dorsal region boasts a striking hue of light brown, accentuated by a distinctive cream-colored patch adorning its chest. Meanwhile, the fur on its head assumes a captivating grey hue, while its limbs and tail are swathed in hues of black or dark brown, adding to its aesthetic allure.

While renowned for their adeptness in both swimming and climbing, American pine martens exhibit a preference for foraging and hunting on the forest floor, where they can efficiently pursue their prey. Despite this preference, they are equally at home amidst the canopy of trees, where they spend much of their leisure time traversing the branches in search of sustenance and shelter. During the winter months, American pine martens showcase their resourcefulness by tunneling beneath the snow, enabling them to continue foraging for food and navigating their snowy surroundings with ease.

In terms of diet, American pine martens display a diverse palate, consuming a wide array of prey species and plant matter to meet their nutritional needs. Their menu includes fish, frogs, insects, birds, seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries, each contributing to their well-rounded diet. However, among their culinary preferences, squirrels reign supreme, with American pine martens demonstrating a distinct fondness for these arboreal rodents.

Beyond their dietary habits, American pine martens play a vital ecological role as both predators and prey within their native ecosystems. As efficient hunters of small mammals, birds, and insects, they contribute to the regulation of prey populations, helping to maintain ecological balance within their habitat. Moreover, American pine martens serve as a valuable food source for larger predators, such as owls, hawks, and coyotes, forming an integral component of the intricate web of life within their ecosystem.


Population est.
United States

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No