Pine Marten Trivia

Pine Marten

Do you think you know the pine marten? Test your knowledge of pine marten FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!

Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!

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What is the European pine marten’s scientific name?
Martes martes
The European pine marten’s scientific name is Martes martes.
Martes americana
Martes flavigula
Martes melampus

Pine martens are successfully kept on fur farms.
True
The thick and silky, rich, brown winter coat of the pine marten has always been in high demand. As such, the species has been successfully kept on fur farms.
False

Where are pine martens located?
Asia
The European pine marten is distributed through most portions of continental Eurasia from western Europe in the west to western Siberia in the east, from the northern edge of coniferous forest in the north to Asia Minor in the south.
Europe
The European pine marten is distributed through most portions of continental Eurasia from western Europe in the west to western Siberia in the east, from the northern edge of coniferous forest in the north to Asia Minor in the south.
Africa
Australia

What are alternate names for the pine marten?
Baum Marten
The pine marten is also known as the European pine marten, sweet marten, and baum marten.
European Pine Marten
The pine marten is also known as the European pine marten, sweet marten, and baum marten.
Sweet Marten
The pine marten is also known as the European pine marten, sweet marten, and baum marten.
Yellow-Throated Marten

What kind of animal is the pine marten?
Mustelid
Pine martens are mustelids and are members of the family Mustelidae.
Canine
Marsupial
Rodent

What is the pine marten considered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Least Concern
The pine marten is listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Near Threatened
Vulnerable
Endangered

What is the pine marten’s diet?
Omnivorous
The pine marten is omnivorous .
Carnivorous
Herbivorous

Pine martens are skillful treetop hunters.
True
Pine martens are skillful treetop hunters and adept climbers with many physical adaptations fit for their arboreal, acrobatic lifestyle. They are frequently found racing on thin, swinging branches and leaping from one treetop to another in pursuit of small prey, especially squirrels.
False

In highly seasonal habitats, the size of the pine marten’s home range remains the same all year.
False
In the majority of the pine marten’s range, where the habitat is highly seasonal, range size changes seasonally.
True

Male pine marten home ranges tend to overlap those of one or more females.
True
Although home range size estimates of the pine marten vary widely between studies, it is clear that male ranges overlap those of one or more females.
False

What is the population trend of the pine marten?
Stable
The pine marten’s population is stable to increasing, after former steep declines in some of its range.
Decreasing
Increasing
Unknown

What is the pine marten’s general habitat preference?
Habitat Specialist
The pine marten is considered to be a habitat specialist. Having a closed treetop as cover from predation is thought to be an important habitat criterion for the species.
Habitat Generalist

The size of a pine marten is comparable to what animal?
Cat
The pine marten is a medium-sized carnivore, about the size of a large domestic cat with similar proportions. Its head and body length is 450-580 mm and tail length is 160-280 mm.
Mouse
Rabbit
Dog

Pine martens have no known negative effects on humans.
True
Pine martens have no known negative effects on humans.
False

The pine marten has a rich brown fur coat that is thick and silky in the winter and short and coarse in the summer.
True
The pine marten has a rich brown fur coat that is thick and silky in the winter and short and coarse in the summer.
False

When do pine martens travel the most distance each night?
Summer
Pine marten range difference is reflected in the distances covered by males at night, with further travel in the summer than the winter.
Spring
Fall
Winter

What habitat does the pine marten prefer?
Forest
Although pine martens favor tree cover, they can be found outside of forests.
Artificial Terrestrial
Shrubland
Grassland

When do pine martens experience a false heat?
Winter
Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies in late winter, between February and March. The term “false heat” has been applied to this behavioral enigma.
Spring
Summer
Fall

Where do pine martens prefer to nest in the winter?
Underground
At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, pine martens more frequently choose to rest underground.
Abandoned Nests
Rock Crevices
Hollow Trees

When is the pine marten’s coat in high demand?
Winter
The thick and silky, rich, brown winter coat of the pine marten has always been in high demand.
Spring
Fall
Summer

When does a pine marten generally leave its natal territory?
12 Weeks
Young pine martens may begin dispersing at 12-16 weeks, during the breeding season.
4 Weeks
8 Weeks
24 Weeks

What do pine martens prefer to eat?
Small Animals
The pine marten favors animal food, relying on small mammals for most of the year.
Berries
Fruit
Carrion

Pine martens are generally solitary.
True
Pine martens are solitary except when young are in the nest. Independent subadults are tolerated within the range of adult animals, but these may represent offspring that did not disperse in their first fall.
False

Pine martens only mate in trees.
False
Copulation may occur on the ground or in trees.
True

When are the pads on the pine marten’s soles completely covered with fur?
Winter
The pads on the marten’s soles are completely covered with fur in the winter.
Spring
Summer
Fall

Pine martens are born without fur.
False
At birth, young pine martens have thick, short fur.
True

Pine martens inhabits the Caucasus and many Mediterranean islands.
True
The pine marten inhabits the Caucasus and many Mediterranean islands including the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Elba and Sicily.
False

What factors lead to the survival of the pine marten species?
Large, Stable Population
The pine marten has a wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and is unlikely to be declining.
Protected Areas
The pine marten has a wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and is unlikely to be declining.
Tolerance of Habitat Modification
The pine marten has a wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and is unlikely to be declining.
Wide Distribution
The pine marten has a wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and is unlikely to be declining.

How many offspring can a pine marten produce?
5
Female pine martens can produce a litter of up to 2-5.
2
4
3

Pine martens prefer young forests over old-growth forests.
True
Old-growth forest is often preferred over young forest.
False

What skull attributes help the pine marten hunt?
Elongated Braincase
Several skull attributes allow pine martens to be remarkable predators. An elongated braincase allows for the insertion of an enlarged temporalis muscle while a large flange on the mandibular fossae prevents the dislocation of the lower jaw. Pine martens also possess well-developed shearing and crushing cheek-teeth. These characteristics aid martens in capture, restraint, and processing of prey.
Enlarged Temporalis Muscle
Several skull attributes allow pine martens to be remarkable predators. An elongated braincase allows for the insertion of an enlarged temporalis muscle while a large flange on the mandibular fossae prevents the dislocation of the lower jaw. Pine martens also possess well-developed shearing and crushing cheek-teeth. These characteristics aid martens in capture, restraint, and processing of prey.
Large Flange on the Mandibular Fossae
Several skull attributes allow pine martens to be remarkable predators. An elongated braincase allows for the insertion of an enlarged temporalis muscle while a large flange on the mandibular fossae prevents the dislocation of the lower jaw. Pine martens also possess well-developed shearing and crushing cheek-teeth. These characteristics aid martens in capture, restraint, and processing of prey.
Well-Developed Cheek-Teeth
Several skull attributes allow pine martens to be remarkable predators. An elongated braincase allows for the insertion of an enlarged temporalis muscle while a large flange on the mandibular fossae prevents the dislocation of the lower jaw. Pine martens also possess well-developed shearing and crushing cheek-teeth. These characteristics aid martens in capture, restraint, and processing of prey.

When does the pine marten completely molt its coat?
Spring
A complete molt occurs only once a year in the spring.
Summer
Fall
Winter

What is the pine marten’s rhythm?
Nocturnal
Pine martens are nocturnal, mostly active during the night and at dusk.
Diurnal
Crepuscular
Cathemeral

As in many mustelids, reproduction in pine martens is tied closely to the seasonality of their temperate habitats.
True
Reproduction in pine martens is tied closely to the seasonality of their temperate habitats, as it is in many members of the family Mustelidae
False

The pine marten’s ears are relatively small and circular.
False
The ears are relatively large and triangular.
True

What is the average lifespan of a pine marten in the wild?
10 Years
The average lifespan of a pine marten in the wild is 10 years. The average lifespan of a captive pine marten is 15 years.
5 Years
15 Years
20 Years

When is the pine marten’s home range at its smallest?
Winter
The autumn/winter ranges can be 8-54% smaller than the spring/summer ranges. This range difference is also reflected in the distances covered by males at night, with further travel in the summer than the winter.
Summer
Spring
Fall

On the island of Minorca, pine martens are habitat generalists and live where, rather than forests?
Shrubland
On the island of Minorca, the pine marten shows no habitat preference, acting as a habitat generalist, rather than a habitat specialist. On this island, they live in shrubland and are seemingly indifferent to tree cover.
Savanna
Grassland
Wetlands

What is the average litter a pine marten produces?
3
Female pine martens produce an average litter of 3.
2
4
5

Pine martens frequent human settlements and are known as pests.
False
Pine martens avoid human settlements and have never been known as a pest.
True

Pine martens keep larger home ranges on the island of Minorca.
False
Some sources give an average of 23 square kilometers for males and 6.5 square kilometers for females, others estimate only 2.2 square kilometers for males and 1.5 square kilometers for females. On the island of Minorca, ranges were measured as 0.5 square kilometers for females and 6.9 square kilometers for males.
True

Pine martens are born blind, deaf, and toothless.
True
At birth, young pine martens are blind, deaf, and toothless.
False

Female pine martens have larger home ranges than males.
False
Although home range size estimates of the pine marten vary widely between studies, it is clear that male ranges are larger than female ranges.
True

Pine martens scent-mark their home ranges to communicate with other martens.
True
Pine marten communication is known to occur through scent-marking of home ranges. Abdominal and anal scent glands are used to mark areas throughout the territory
False

Pine martens store their food in the summer and autumn to compensate for low winter resources.
True
Pine martens store their food in the summer and autumn to compensate for low winter resources.
False

What increases during a pine marten’s false heat?
Hormonal Levels
Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies as a “false heat”, as evidenced by increased scent marking frequency, intersexual tolerance, intrasexual aggression, and hormonal levels.
Intersexual Tolerance
Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies as a “false heat”, as evidenced by increased scent marking frequency, intersexual tolerance, intrasexual aggression, and hormonal levels.
Intrasexual Aggression
Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies as a “false heat”, as evidenced by increased scent marking frequency, intersexual tolerance, intrasexual aggression, and hormonal levels.
Scent Marking
Social behavior of the pine marten intensifies as a “false heat”, as evidenced by increased scent marking frequency, intersexual tolerance, intrasexual aggression, and hormonal levels.

The pine marten’s diet proportion and composition often change according to season and local conditions.
True
The diet composition and proportion of the pine marten often changes according to season and local conditions.
False

What types of forests do pine martens inhabit?
Coniferous
The pine marten prefers forest habitats, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest.
Deciduous
The pine marten prefers forest habitats, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest.
Mixed
The pine marten prefers forest habitats, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest.
Boreal

How long can pine marten copulation last?
50 Minutes
Copulation is prolonged, lasting 30-50 minutes.
10 Minutes
25 Minutes
100 Minutes

When does the pine marten begin growing its winter coat?
September
The pine marten’s winter fur begins growing in September.
July
November
January

When do pine martens mate?
Summer
Mating and fertilization occurs in July and August and is followed by a period of delayed implantation that lasts about seven months.
Spring
Fall
Winter

The pine marten’s size varies geographically.
True
There is substantial size variation found geographically.
False

What physical attributes help the pine marten live an arboreal, acrobatic lifestyle?
Long, Bushy Tail
The pine marten has a long, bushy tail to aid in balancing, well-developed claws, and a bone and muscle structure that aids its powerful forelimbs.
Well-Developed Claws
The pine marten has a long, bushy tail to aid in balancing, well-developed claws, and a bone and muscle structure that aids its powerful forelimbs.
Powerful Forelimbs
The pine marten has a long, bushy tail to aid in balancing, well-developed claws, and a bone and muscle structure that aids its powerful forelimbs.
Strong Bone & Muscle Structure
The pine marten has a long, bushy tail to aid in balancing, well-developed claws, and a bone and muscle structure that aids its powerful forelimbs.

An individual pine marten can have several nests within its home range.
True
An individual pine marten can have several nests within the home range.
False

The pine marten’s reproduction is tied closely to Spring because of what factor?
Increased Daylight
Pine marten implantation occurs in late February and March. The timing of implantation responds to photoperiod, specifically to the spring’s increase in duration of daylight.
Increased Food
Lower Competition
Warmer Temperatures

Why are pine martens habitat generalists on the island of Minorca?
Absence of Predators
It is thought that the absence of predators on the island of Minorca has allowed the martens to become habitat generalists.
Competition
Habitat Loss
Food Availability

Trade of pine marten fur has been feasible on a large, commercial scale.
False
Life history characteristics prevent trade of pine marten fur from being feasible on a large, commercial scale.
True

On average, how much longer does a pine marten live in captivity than in the wild?
5 Years
The average lifespan of a pine marten in the wild is 10 years, but in captivity, they can live up to 17 years. The average lifespan of a captive pine marten is 15 years.
10 Years
15 Years
20 Years

Where do pine martens nest?
Abandoned Nests
Pine martens prefer nesting in hollow trees, but squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are also used as hideaways. At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, pine martens more frequently choose to rest underground.
Hollow Trees
Pine martens prefer nesting in hollow trees, but squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are also used as hideaways. At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, pine martens more frequently choose to rest underground.
Rock Crevices
Pine martens prefer nesting in hollow trees, but squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are also used as hideaways. At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, pine martens more frequently choose to rest underground.
Underground
Pine martens prefer nesting in hollow trees, but squirrel nests, abandoned bird nests, and rock crevices are also used as hideaways. At colder ambient temperatures in the winter, pine martens more frequently choose to rest underground.

Male pine martens may guard mated females.
True
Field studies indicate that males may successfully guard a mated female through territory defense if his range encompasses that of the female.
False

At high densities, intrasexual pine marten ranges can overlap.
True
The density of pine martens is about 0.3-0.8 square kilometers. At high densities, intrasexual ranges can overlap.
False

In Scotland and on the island of Minorca, pine martens may fill 30% of their diet with what resources?
Fruit
In Scotland and on the island of Minorca, when fruits and berries become abundant in the autumn, pine martens may fill 30% of their diet with these resources. In other regions, such as Poland, fruits may never be eaten.
Barnacles
Crabs
Carrion

Pine martens always leave their natal territories before their first spring.
False
Some young may overwinter in the natal territory and disperse in the following spring.
True

To which of these is the pine marten least related?
Hedgehog
Pine martens are mustelids and are members of the family Mustelidae while hedgehogs are members of the family Erinaceidae.
Badger
Otter
Ferret

When do young pine martens begin leaving the den?
8 Weeks
At 7-8 weeks, the young emerge from the den.
4 Weeks
12 Weeks
16 Weeks

The pine marten exhibits sexual dimorphism.
True, Males are Larger
Sexual dimorphism is seen in size, with males outweighing females by 12-30%.
True, Females are Larger
False

In the wild, pine martens may mate in their first year, but in captivity, most males don’t breed until their second year.
True
In the wild, male and female pine martens may mate in their first summer, at 14 months of age. The first mating season, however, may typically be deferred until the second or third year In captivity, most males do not breed until 27 months old. This could be due to stress incurred under captive conditions or inaccuracy in aging wild animals.
False

How many functional mammae does a female pine marten have?
4
Female pine martens only have four functional mammae.
2
6
8

In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent what kind of habitat types?
Grassland
In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent many habitat types. They are seen in young forest plantations, coarse grassland, heather and grass moorland, and borders. Stone dykes are used as runways to get from area to another.
Forest Plantations
In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent many habitat types. They are seen in young forest plantations, coarse grassland, heather and grass moorland, and borders. Stone dykes are used as runways to get from area to another.
Grass Moorland
In Scotland, pine martens are habitat generalists, rather than habitat specialists, and frequent many habitat types. They are seen in young forest plantations, coarse grassland, heather and grass moorland, and borders. Stone dykes are used as runways to get from area to another.
Shrubland

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