|Basic info||Taxonomic history||Classification||Relationships|
|Morphology||Ecology and taphonomy||External Literature Search||Age range and collections|
Martes zibellina (sable)
Mammalia - Carnivora - Mustelidae
If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.
|V. G. Monakhov 2011||Martes zibellina is slightly larger than other similar Holarctic martens (M. martes [European pine marten], M. americana [American marten], and M. melampus [Japanese marten]) but smaller than M. pennanti (fisher) and M. flavigula (yellow-throated marten) and has more dark coloration in the pelage. A variably sized yellowish (orange) patch (bib) occurs on throat and breast (Fig. 1), but it is sometimes absent; head usually lighter than back, sometimes whitish. Pelage is monotonic ranging from light brown (or sandy-yellow) to almost black; frequently occurs with sporadic white (gray or yellowish) hairs throughout the pelt. In the fur trade this is referred to as ‘‘sedina’’ (grayness [Fig. 2]). In general, M. zibellina is most similar morphologically to M. martes, M. americana, and M. melampus (Anderson 1970; Clark et al. 1987; Hagmeier 1961); however, it has a shorter tail and darker, more lustrous and silky pelage. Tail length with tip hairs is no more than one-half of body length (Ognev 1931). Skull bullae (Fig. 3) are extended and closer together than in M. martes and the beech marten (M. foina—Heptner et al. 1967). The internal one- half of the upper molar (Fig. 3) is wider than the external one- half (Aristov and Baryshnikov 2001). Bacula are 39–43 mm long (in adult males) with a forked end that forms an unclosed ring (Fig. 4) and so have morphological differences with M. martes and M. americana (Heptner et al. 1967; Pawlinin 1966).|