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