Martes (americana) nobilis Hall, 1926

Noble martin



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The taxonomic status of the Noble Marten is much debated (Lyman, 2011).


Conservation Status


Last record: 2550 14 C yr BP



North America


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Hall, E. R. (1926). A new marten from the Pleistocene caves of California. Journal of Mammalogy 7: 127-130.


Other references:

Adair, M. J. (ed.). (1989). Archaeological investigations at the North Cove Site, Harlan County Lake, Harlan County, Nebraska. Kaw Valley Engineering and Development, Inc., Junction City, KS, vi + 1-106.

Adair, M. J., and Brown, K. L. (eds.). (1987). Prehistoric and historic cultural resources of selected sites at Harlan County Lake, Harlan County, Nebraska: test excavations and determination of significance for 28 sites. Kaw Valley Engineering and Development, Inc., Junction City, KS, xiii + 594 pp.

Anderson, E. (1970). Quaternary evolution of the genus Martes (Carnivora, Mustelidae). Acta Zoologica Fennicae 130: 1-132.

Anderson, E. (1994). Evolution, prehistoric distribution, and systematics of Martes, pp. 13-25. In: Burkirk, S.W., Harestad, A.S., Raphael, M.G., Powell, R.A. (Eds.). Martens, Sables, and Fishers: Biology and Conservation.  Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Graham, R. W. and Graham, M. A. (1994). Late Quaternary distribution of Martes in North America, pp. 26–58. In: Buskirk, S.W., Harestad, A.S., Raphael, M.G., Powell, R.A. (Eds.), Martens, Sables, and Fishers: Biology and Conservation. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Grayson, D. K. (1984). Time of extinction and nature of adaptation of the noble marten, Martes americana nobilis, pp. 233-240. Contributions in Quaternary Vertebrate Paleontology: A Volume in Memorial to John E. Guilday: In: Genoways, H.H., Dawson, M.R. (Eds.), Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 8, Pittsburgh.

Grayson, D. K. (1987). The biogeographic history of small mammals in the Great Basin: observations on the last 20,000 years. Journal of Mammalogy 68: 359-375.

Grayson, D. K. (1993). The Desert's Past: A Natural Prehistory of the Great Basin. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Hall, E. R. (1936). Mustelid mammals from the Pleistocene of North America with systematic notes on some recent members of the genera Mustela, Taxidea, and Mephitis. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 73: 41-119.

Hughes, S.S. (2009). Noble marten (Martes americana nobilis) revisited: Its adaptation and extinction. Journal of Mammalogy 90: 74-92.

Lyman, R. Lee. (2011). Paleoecological and biogeographical implications of late Pleistocene noble marten (Martes americana nobilis) in eastern Washington State, USA. Quaternary Research 75: 176-182.

Mead, Emilee M. and Mead, Jim I. (1989). Snake Creek Burial Cave and a review of the Quaternary mustelids of the Great Basin. The Great Basin Naturalist 49(2): 143-154.

Mead, Jim I., Swift, Sandra L., Jass, Christopher N., Meyers, Jeffrey I. and Weaver, Sharon E. (2021). Late Pleistocene pine marten (Martes; Mustelidae) from the Black Hills, South Dakota. Northwestern Naturalist 102: 109-119.

Meyers, J. I. (2007). Basicranial Analysis of Martes and the Extinct Martes nobilis (Carnivora: Mustelidae) Using Geometric Morphometrics. Unpublished Master's of Science thesis, Department of Geosciences, Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff.

Youngman, P. M. and Schueler, F. W. (1991). Martes nobilis is a synonym of Martes americana, not an extinct Pleistocene–Holocene species. Journal of Mammalogy 72: 567-577.


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