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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Friday, 15 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Friday Creature Feature: Pine Marten

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend when I linked him this video. It’s safe for work for but if you Martes martes crop-wiki-Dani-Kropivnikare unable to view it I will be more than happy to describe it to you.

During a soccer game (football match) a pine marten (martes martes) works its way onto the field (pitch). The animal proceeds to frantically run around like a deranged streaking fan (fanum rabidus nudus). Unlike a zealous fan the creature left the field on its own a few times but returns, suspends play, and is chased down by several people including a member of FC Zurich: defender Loris Benito.

Benito swoops, tumbles, but manages to snag the animal only to be rewarded with a bite to the finger.  Apparently, as Benito is leaving the field the pine marten escapes the defender (irony) and Zurich goalkeeper David Da Costa is either directed to because he is wearing gloves and accustomed to trying to stop fast moving objects or takes it upon himself to grab the pine marten ending the spectacle.

The video is lovingly scored to the song "Yakety Sax": the default tune for all wacky, fast-paced, scenarios like slapstick blooper reels or a selection of plays from the New York Jets 2012 season.

As my friend was watching the video he asked: “What kind of animal is that?”

A pine marten. You know, like a weasel,” I replied but I wasn’t sure if I was correct in likening it to a weasel.

The European pine marten, and we have to assume this creature is not an American pine marten because the game was played in Europe, is native to almost all of the continent. It is definitely related to a weasel; they both belong to the mustelid family along with minks, otters, and badgers.

They are varying shades of brown and during the winter their fur becomes silkier and longer. The pine marten has a bushy tail and a patch of cream colored fur at its throat. Since it’s European we will not call it a bib or scarf but a cravat.

A Pine marten is about as big as a domesticated cat and they have pointy little ears and cat-like faces with whiskers.

They live in well-wooded or forested areas where they are mostly nocturnal. Pine martens are omnivores and will eat what is available: rodents, insects, fruit, or fingers of soccer players.

The IUCN Red List has placed them in the “Least Concern” category due to a stable population and protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act in the UK.  However they still have threats mainly being hunted for sport, or because they are seen as pests, trapped for their fur, and deforestation. Now we can add soccer players to the list of people out to get pine martens.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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