Mittwoch, 4. Juli 2012

Beech marten or pine marten?

Who is who?
If you see martens alive or mounted then it’s no problem to differ them. But what if you only have the skull of a marten in your hand? There are two characteristic features how you can differ those martens apart and I will explain it to you under the cut.

First look at the lower jaw, there you will find two little holes. If these holes are next to each other it’s a beech marten. If they are wider apart then it’s a pine marten.

Another characteristic feature is the length of the snout. The snout of a beech marten is shorter (distance between eye and snout). And the snout of the beech marten is often bulkier than the snout of a pine marten. Generally the skull of the beech marten looks a lot stouter.

The snout of the left one is stouter.
Both martens were older adults. You don’t see any cracks on the skull and a little bone ridge appears when they get older. This bone ridge will never grow that big as it does with badger skulls. It’s just a line on the skull and at the end of it is a little ridge. That’s a sign you can see by almost all mammalian predators.

Of course there are some beech martens with longer snouts and pine martens with holes in the lower jaw which are closely together. It isn’t always that easy to tell those two martens apart, but with the time you get your experience.

I have many beech marten skulls in my collection, all found by myself. But I never found a pine marten skull so my dear trusted taxidermist had to help me out :)

Pine marten skull.

Look, this pine marten got an injury on its lower jaw. It’s healed so the marten got it long time ago when it was still alive.
So, I hope this entry helps you out. If you arent sure if you have a pine or a tree marten skull, feel free to contact me :)

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