One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A semi-arboreal weasel-like mammal found in Eurasia and North America, hunted for its fur in some countries.
Genus Martes, family Mustelidae: several species. See pine marten, stone marten
- ‘Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.’
- ‘Abert's and northern flying squirrels, as well as martens and bushy-tailed wood rats, are known to utilize witches'-brooms for nesting or protection.’
- ‘As members of the marten family, giant otters are susceptible to both diseases.’
- ‘The researchers say that nestlings in at least half of the nests they studied were eaten, mainly by martens and weasels.’
- ‘A cousin of mink, martens, otters, stoats, weasels and distantly related to seals, badgers are one of our oldest indigenous animals, whose fossil remains have been found to belong to the same era as mammoths.’
Middle English: from Old French (peau) martrine ‘marten (fur)’, from martre, of West Germanic origin.
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