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The marten Martes americana, a small predator, is a member of the weasel family, Mustelidae. It is similar in size to a small cat but has shorter legs, a more slender body, a bushy tail, and a pointed face. The fur varies from pale yellowish buff to dark blackish brown. During winter, the marten has a beautiful dark brown fur coat and a bright orange throat patch. The summer coat is lighter in colour and not nearly as thick. Males are the larger sex and weigh about 1 000 g, whereas females weigh about 650 g.
The Mustelidae family also includes several other more familiar animals such as the ermine, skunk, and mink. It is thought that martens entered North America from Asia about 60 000 years ago. There are several species of martens worldwide and perhaps the most famous is the Russian sable, which is well known for its luxurious fur.