Originally featured in Points West magazine in Fall/Winter 2015
The American marten, also known as the American pine marten, is a tree-dwelling member of the weasel family. It lives in much of northern North America, including Greater Yellowstone, wherever mature coniferous or mixed forests occur. Martens are opportunistic hunters. They prey on voles, mice, red and flying squirrels, and even the occasional snowshoe hare, depending on season and local prey abundance.
Jack Putnam created this mount in the 1960s. A native of Colorado, Jack was a taxidermist, sculptor, and curator of natural history at the Denver Museum of Natural History (now Denver Museum of Nature and Science) for twenty-five years. He traveled the world collecting wildlife specimens and then preparing them for exhibition. His work is displayed in a dozen museums across the United States. After his death in 2009, Jack’s wife, Lila, donated this marten and other magnificent Putnam mounts to the Center’s Draper Natural History Museum so that they can inspire visitors from around the world with the wonder of nature and the unique talent of her beloved husband.
American marten (Martes americana) specimen. DRA.305.183