Nottingham is a city and unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire, England, 128 miles north of London, 45 miles northeast of Birmingham and 56 miles southeast of Manchester, in the East Midlands. Nottingham has links to the legend of Robin Hood and to the lace-making and tobacco industries, it was granted its city charter in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Nottingham is a tourist destination. In 2017, Nottingham had an estimated population of 329,200; the population of the city proper, compared to its regional counterparts, has been attributed to its historical and tightly-drawn city boundaries. The wider conurbation, which includes many of the city's suburbs, has a population of 768,638, it is the second-largest in The Midlands. Its Functional Urban Area the largest in the East Midlands, has a population of 912,482; the population of the Nottingham/Derby metropolitan area is estimated to be 1,610,000. Its metropolitan economy is the seventh largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $50.9bn.
The city was the first in the East Midlands to be ranked as a sufficiency-level world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Nottingham has an award-winning public transport system, including the largest publicly owned bus network in England and is served by Nottingham railway station and the modern Nottingham Express Transit tram system, it is a major sporting centre, in October 2015 was named'Home of English Sport'. The National Ice Centre, Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, Trent Bridge international cricket ground are all based in or around the city, the home of two professional league football teams; the city has professional rugby, ice hockey and cricket teams, the Aegon Nottingham Open, an international tennis tournament on the ATP and WTA tours. This accolade came just over a year. On 11 December 2015, Nottingham was named a "City of Literature" by UNESCO, joining Dublin, Edinburgh and Prague as one of only a handful in the world; the title reflects Nottingham's literary heritage, with Lord Byron, D. H. Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe having links to the city, as well as a contemporary literary community, a publishing industry and a poetry scene.
The city has two universities—Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham—both of which are spread over several campuses in the city, with a total university student population of over 61,000. The city predates Anglo-Saxon times and was known in Brythonic as Tigguo Cobauc, meaning Place of Caves. In modern Welsh it is known poetically as Y Ty Ogofog and Irish as Na Tithe Uaimh "The Cavey Dwelling"; when it fell under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot it became known as "Snotingaham". Some authors derive "Nottingham" from Snottenga and ham, but "this has nothing to do with the English form". Nottingham Castle was constructed in 1068 on a sandstone outcrop by the River Leen; the Anglo-Saxon settlement was confined to the area today known as the Lace Market and was surrounded by a substantial defensive ditch and rampart, which fell out of use following the Norman Conquest and was filled by the time of the Domesday Survey. Following the Norman Conquest the Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Law Courts.
A settlement developed around the castle on the hill opposite and was the French borough supporting the Normans in the castle. The space between was built on as the town grew and the Old Market Square became the focus of Nottingham several centuries later. Defences, consisted of a ditch and bank in the early 12th century; the ditch was widened, in the mid-13th century, a stone wall built around much of the perimeter of the town. A short length of the wall survives, is visible at the northern end of Maid Marian Way, is protected as a Scheduled Monument. On the return of Richard the Lionheart from the Crusades, the castle was occupied by supporters of Prince John, including the Sheriff of Nottingham, it was besieged by Richard and, after a sharp conflict, was captured. In the legends of Robin Hood, Nottingham Castle is the scene of the final showdown between the Sheriff and the hero outlaw. By the 15th century Nottingham had established itself as a centre of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from Nottingham alabaster.
The town became a county corporate in 1449 giving it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire. One of those impressed by Nottingham in the late 18th century was the German traveller C. P. Moritz, who wrote in 1782, "Of all the towns I have seen outside London, Nottingham is the loveliest and neatest. Everything had a modern look, a large space in the centre was hardly less handsome than a London square. A charming footpath leads over the fields to the highway. … Nottingham … with its high houses, red roofs and church steeples, looks excellent from a distance."During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry.
The Sámi people are a Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses large parts of Norway and Sweden, northern parts of Finland, the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders. Sámi ancestral lands are not well-defined, their traditional languages are the Sámi languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family. Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, sheep herding, their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. About 10% of the Sámi are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat and transportation. 2,800 Sámi people are involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental and political reasons, reindeer herding is reserved for only Sami people in some regions of the Nordic countries. Sámi refer to themselves as Sámit or Sápmelaš, the word Sámi being inflected into various grammatical forms.
It has been proposed that Sámi, Häme, Suomi are of the same origin and borrowed from the Baltic word *žēmē, meaning'land'. The Baltic word is cognate with Slavic zemlja, which means'land'; the Sámi institutions – notably the parliaments, radio and TV stations, etc. – all use the term Sámi, including when addressing outsiders in Norwegian, Finnish, or English. In Norwegian, the Sámi are today referred to by the Norwegianized form Same; the first probable historical mention of the Sámi, naming them Fenni, was by Tacitus, about 98 A. D. Variants of Finn or Fenni were in wide use in ancient times, judging from the names Fenni and Phinnoi in classical Roman and Greek works. Finn was the name used by Norse speakers to refer to the Sámi, as attested in the Icelandic Eddas and Norse sagas; the etymology is somewhat uncertain, but the consensus seems to be that it is related to Old Norse finna, from proto-Germanic *finthanan, the logic being that the Sámi, as hunter-gatherers "found" their food, rather than grew it.
As Old Norse developed into the separate Scandinavian languages, Swedes took to using Finn to refer to inhabitants of what is now Finland, while the Sámi came to be called Lapps. In Norway, however, Sámi were still called Finns at least until the modern era, some northern Norwegians will still use Finn to refer to Sámi people, although the Sámi themselves now consider this to be an inappropriate term. Finnish immigrants to Northern Norway in the 18th and 19th centuries were referred to as Kvens to distinguish them from the Sámi "Finns". Ethnic Finns are a distinct group from Sámi; the word Lapp can be traced to Icelandic lappir of Finnish origin. It is unknown how the word Lapp came into the Norse language, but one of the first written mentions of the term is in the Gesta Danorum by 12th-century Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus, who referred to the two Lappias, although he still referred to the Sami as Finns. In fact, Saxo never explicitly connects the Sami with the "two Laplands"; the term "Lapp" was popularized and became the standard terminology by the work of Johannes Schefferus, Acta Lapponica.
The Sámi are known in other languages by the exonyms Lap, Lapp, or Laplanders, although these are considered derogatory terms, while others accept at least the name Lappland. Variants of the name Lapp were used in Sweden and Finland and, through Swedish, adopted by many major European languages: English: Lapps. In Russian the corresponding term is лопари́ and in Ukrainian лопарі́. In Finland and Sweden, Lapp is common in place names, such as Lappi and Lapinlahti in Finland; as mentioned, Finn is a common element in Norwegian place names, whereas Lapp is exceedingly rare. Terminological issues in Finnish are somewhat different. Finns living in Finnish Lapland call themselves lappilainen, whereas the similar word for the Sámi people is lappalainen; this can be confusing for foreign visitors because of the similar lives Finns and Sámi people live today in Lapland. Lappalainen is a common family name in Finland. In the Scandinavian languages, the word saamelainen is used, at least in official contexts.
Since prehistoric times, the Sami people of Arctic Europe have lived and worked in an area that stretches over the northern parts of the regions now known as Norway, Sweden and the Russian Kola Peninsula. They have inhabited the northern arctic and sub-arctic regions of Fenno-Scandinavia and Russia for at least 5,000 years; the Sami are counted among the Arctic peoples and are members of circumpolar groups such as the Arctic Council Indigeno
The stoat known as the short-tailed weasel or the weasel in Ireland where the least weasel does not live, is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. From Eurasia, it crossed into North America some 500,000 years ago, where it naturalized and joined the notably larger related native long-tailed weasel; the name ermine is used for any species in the genus Mustela the stoat, in its pure white winter coat, or the fur thereof. In the late 19th century, stoats were introduced into New Zealand to control rabbits, where they have had a devastating effect on native bird populations; the stoat is classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as least concern, due to its wide circumpolar distribution, because it does not face any significant threat to its survival. It was nominated as one of the world's top 100 "worst invaders". Ermine luxury fur was used in the 15th century by Catholic monarchs, who sometimes used it as the mozzetta cape.
It was used in capes on images such as the Infant Jesus of Prague. The root word for "stoat" is either the Dutch word stout or the Gothic word. According to John Guillim, in his Display of Heraldrie, the word "ermine" is derived from Armenia, the nation where it was thought the species originated, though other authors have linked it to the Norman French from the Teutonic harmin; this seems to come from the Lithuanian word šarmu. In Ireland, the stoat is referred to as a weasel, while in North America it is called a short-tailed weasel. A male stoat is called a hob or jack, while a female is called a jill; the collective noun for stoats is either pack. The stoat's direct ancestor was Mustela palerminea, a common carnivore in central and eastern Europe during the Middle Pleistocene, that spread to North America during the late Blancan or early Irvingtonian; the stoat is the product of a process begun 5–7 million years ago, when northern forests were replaced by open grassland, thus prompting an explosive evolution of small, burrowing rodents.
The stoat's ancestors were larger than the current form, underwent a reduction in size as they exploited the new food source. The stoat first arose in Eurasia, shortly after the long-tailed weasel arose as its mirror image in North America 2 million years ago; the stoat thrived during the Ice Age, as its small size and long body allowed it to operate beneath snow, as well as hunt in burrows. The stoat and the long-tailed weasel remained separated until 500,000 years ago, when falling sea levels exposed the Bering land bridge. Combined phylogenetic analyses indicate the stoat's closest living relative is the mountain weasel, though it is closely related to the least weasel and long-tailed weasel, its next closest relatives are the Amazon weasel. As of 2005, 37 subspecies are recognized; the stoat is similar to the least weasel in general proportions, manner of posture, movement, though the tail is longer, always exceeding a third of the body length, though it is shorter than that of the long-tailed weasel.
The stoat has the head being set exceptionally far in front of the shoulders. The trunk is nearly cylindrical, does not bulge at the abdomen; the greatest circumference of body is little more than half its length. The skull, although similar to that of the least weasel, is longer, with a narrower braincase; the projections of the skull and teeth are weakly developed, but stronger than those of the least weasel. The eyes are round and protrude slightly; the whiskers are brown or white in colour, long. The ears are short and lie flattened against the skull; the claws are not retractable, are large in proportion to the digits. Each foot has five toes; the male stoat has a curved baculum with a proximal knob. Fat is deposited along the spine and kidneys on gut mesenteries, under the limbs and around the shoulders; the stoat has four pairs of nipples. The dimensions of the stoat are variable, but not as as the least weasel's. Unusual among the Carnivora, the size of stoats tends to decrease proportionally with latitude, in contradiction to Bergmann's rule.
Sexual dimorphism in size is pronounced, with males being 25% larger than females and 1.5-2.0 times their weight. On average, males measure 187 -- 325 mm in body length -- 270 mm; the tail measures 75–120 mm in males and 65–106 mm in females. In males, the hind foot measures 40.0 -- 48.2 mm. The height of the ear measures 14.0 -- 23.3 mm. The skulls of males measure 39.3–52.2 mm in length, while those of females measure 35.7–45.8 mm. Males average 258 grams in weight; the stoat has large anal scent glands measuring 8.5 mm × 5 mm in smaller in females. Scent glands are present on the cheeks and flanks. Epidermal secretions, which are deposited during body rubbing, are chemically distinct from the products of the anal scent glands, which contain a higher proportion of volatile chemicals; when attacked or being aggressive, the stoat secretes the conten
Apes are a branch of Old World tailless simians native to Africa and Southeast Asia. They are the sister group of the Old World monkeys, they are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint as evolved by the influence of brachiation. In traditional and non-scientific use, the term "ape" excludes humans, is thus not equivalent to the scientific taxon Hominoidea. There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: lesser apes; the family Hylobatidae, the lesser apes, include four genera and a total of sixteen species of gibbon, including the lar gibbon and the siamang, all native to Asia. They are arboreal and bipedal on the ground, they have lighter smaller social groups than great apes. The family Hominidae, the great apes, includes three extant species of orangutans and their subspecies, two extant species of gorillas and their subspecies, two extant species of chimpanzees and their subspecies, one extant species of humans in a single extant subspecies.
Except for gorillas and humans, hominoids are agile climbers of trees. Apes eat a variety of plant and animal foods, with the majority of food being plant foods, which can include fruit, stalks and seeds, including nuts and grass seeds. Human diets are sometimes different to that of other apes due in part to the development of technology and a wide range of habitation. Humans are by far the most numerous of the ape species, in fact outnumbering all other primates by a factor of several thousand to one. Most non-human hominoids are rare or endangered; the chief threat to most of the endangered species is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat. The great apes of Africa are facing threat from the Ebola virus. Considered to be the greatest threat to survival of African apes, Ebola is responsible for the death of at least one third of gorillas and chimpanzees since 1990. "Ape", from Old English apa, is a word of uncertain origin. The term has a history of rather imprecise usage -- and of punning usage in the vernacular.
Its earliest meaning was of any non-human anthropoid primate, as is still the case for its cognates in other Germanic languages. After the term "monkey" had been introduced into English, "ape" was specialized to refer to a tailless primate. Thus, the term "ape" obtained two different meanings, as shown in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica entry: it could be used as a synonym for "monkey" and it could denote the tailless humanlike primate in particular. Some, or all, hominoids are called "apes", but the term is used broadly and has several different senses within both popular and scientific settings. "Ape" has been used as a synonym for "monkey" or for naming any primate with a human-like appearance those without a tail. Biologists have traditionally used the term "ape" to mean a member of the superfamily Hominoidea other than humans, but more to mean all members of Hominoidea. So "ape"—not to be confused with "great ape"—now becomes another word for hominoid including humans; the term hominoid is not to be confused with the family of great apes.
The distinction between apes and monkeys is complicated by the traditional paraphyly of monkeys: Apes emerged as a sister group of Old World Monkeys in the catarhines, which are a sister group of New World Monkeys. Therefore, apes and related contemporary extinct groups such as Parapithecidaea are monkeys as well, for any consistent definition of "monkey". "Old World Monkey" may legitimately be taken to be meant to include all the catarrhines, including apes and extinct species such as Aegyptopithecus, in which case the apes and Aegyptopithecus emerged within the Old World Monkeys. The primates called "apes" today became known to Europeans after the 18th century; as zoological knowledge developed, it became clear that taillessness occurred in a number of different and otherwise distantly related species. Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark was one of those primatologists who developed the idea that there were trends in primate evolution and that the extant members of the order could be arranged in an "..
Ascending series", leading from "monkeys" to "apes" to humans. Within this tradition "ape" came to refer to all members of the superfamily Hominoidea except humans; as such, this use of "apes" represented a paraphyletic grouping, meaning that though all species of apes were descended from a common ancestor, this grouping did not include all the descendant species, because humans were excluded from being among the apes. The cladogram of the superfamily Hominoidae shows the descendant relationships of the extant hominoids that are broadly accepted today. For each clade, it is indicated how many million of years ago newer extant clades radiated. Traditionally, humans were considered neither apes nor great apes, but today they are recognized as having emerged deep in the phylogenetic tree of apes. Thus, there are at least three common, or traditional, uses of the term "ape": non-specialists may not distinguish between "monkeys" and "apes", that is, they may use the two terms interchangeably. Modern biologists and primatologists use monophyletic groups for taxonomic classification.
In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus. Extinct species of the genus Homo include Homo erectus, extant during 1.9 to 0.4 million years ago, a number of other species. The age of speciation of H. sapiens out of ancestral H. erectus is estimated to have been 350,000 years ago. Sustained archaic admixture is known to have taken place both in Africa and in Eurasia, between about 100,000 and 30,000 years ago; the term anatomically modern humans is used to distinguish H. sapiens having an anatomy consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from varieties of extinct archaic humans. This is useful for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, for example, in Paleolithic Europe; the binomial name Homo sapiens was coined by Linnaeus, 1758. The Latin noun homō means "human being", while the participle sapiēns means "discerning, sensible"; the species was thought to have emerged from a predecessor within the genus Homo around 300,000 to 200,000 years ago.
A problem with the morphological classification of "anatomically modern" was that it would not have included certain extant populations. For this reason, a lineage-based definition of H. sapiens has been suggested, in which H. sapiens would by definition refer to the modern human lineage following the split from the Neanderthal lineage. Such a cladistic definition would extend the age of H. sapiens to over 500,000 years. Extant human populations have been divided into subspecies, but since around the 1980s all extant groups have tended to be subsumed into a single species, H. sapiens, avoiding division into subspecies altogether. Some sources show Neanderthals as a subspecies; the discovered specimens of the H. rhodesiensis species have been classified by some as a subspecies, although it remains more common to treat these last two as separate species within the genus Homo rather than as subspecies within H. sapiens. The subspecies name H. sapiens sapiens is sometimes used informally instead of "modern humans" or "anatomically modern humans".
It has no formal authority associated with it. By the early 2000s, it had become common to use H. s. sapiens for the ancestral population of all contemporary humans, as such it is equivalent to the binomial H. sapiens in the more restrictive sense. The speciation of H. sapiens out of archaic human varieties derived from H. erectus is estimated as having taken place over 350,000 years ago, as the Khoisan split from other populations is dated between 260,000 and 350,000 years ago. An alternative suggestion defines H. sapiens cladistically as including the lineage of modern humans since the split from the lineage of Neanderthals 500,000 to 800,000 years ago. The time of divergence between archaic H. sapiens and ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans caused by a genetic bottleneck of the latter was dated at 744,000 years ago, combined with repeated early admixture events and Denisovans diverging from Neanderthals 300 generations after their split from H. sapiens, as calculated by Rogers et al..
The derivation of a comparatively homogeneous single species of H. sapiens from more diverse varieties of archaic humans was debated in terms of two competing models during the 1980s: "recent African origin" postulated the emergence of H. sapiens from a single source population in Africa, which expanded and led to the extinction of all other human varieties, while the "multiregional evolution" model postulated the survival of regional forms of archaic humans converging into the modern human varieties by the mechanism of clinal variation, via genetic drift, gene flow and selection throughout the Pleistocene. Since the 2000s, the availability of data from archaeogenetics and population genetics has led to the emergence of a much more detailed picture, intermediate between the two competing scenarios outlined above: The recent Out-of-Africa expansion accounts for the predominant part of modern human ancestry, while there were significant admixture events with regional archaic humans. Since the 1970s, the Omo remains, dated to some 195,000 years ago, have been taken as the conventional cut-off point for the emergence of "anatomically modern humans".
Since the 2000s, the discovery of older remains with comparable characteristics, the discovery of ongoing hybridization between "modern" and "archaic" populations after the time of the Omo remains, have opened up a renewed debate on the "age of H. sapiens", in journalistic publications cast into terms of "H. sapiens may be older than thought". H. s. idaltu, dated to 160,000 years ago, has been postulated as an extinct subspecies of H. sapiens in 2003. H. Neanderthalensis, which became extinct about 40,000 years ago, has been classified as a subspecies, H. s. neanderthalensis. H. heidelbergensis, dated 600,000 to 300,000 years ago, has long been thought to be a candidate for the last common ancestor of the Neanderthal and modern human lineages. However, genetic evidence from the Sima de los Huesos fossils published in 2016 seems to suggest that H. heidelbergensis in its entirety should be included in the Neanderthal lineage, as "pre-Neanderthal" or "early Neanderthal", while the divergence time between the Neanderthal and
The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the Americas. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 103 or more species in 19 genera. Opossums originated in South America and entered North America in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the two continents, their unspecialized biology, flexible diet, reproductive habits make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions. Although the animal is called a possum in North America, which would refer to the Virginia opossum species, it should not be confused with the suborder Phalangeriformes, which are arboreal marsupials in the Eastern Hemisphere called "possums" because of their resemblance to Didelphimorphia; the word "opossum" is borrowed from the Powhatan language and was first recorded between 1607 and 1611 by John Smith and William Strachey. Both men encountered the language at the British settlement of Jamestown, which Smith helped to found and where Strachey served as its first secretary.
Strachey's notes describe the opossum as a "beast in bigness of a pig and in taste alike," while Smith recorded it "hath an head like a swine... tail like a rat... of the bigness of a cat." The Powhatan word derives from a Proto-Algonquian word meaning "white dog or dog-like beast."Following the arrival of Europeans in Australia, the term "possum" was borrowed to describe distantly related Australian marsupials of the suborder Phalangeriformes, which are more related to other Australian marsupials such as kangaroos. "Didelphimorphia" refers to the fact. Didelphimorphs are small to medium-sized marsupials, they tend to be semi-arboreal omnivores. Most members of this taxon have long snouts, a narrow braincase, a prominent sagittal crest; the dental formula is: 220.127.116.11.1.3.4 × 2 = 50 teeth. By mammalian standards, this is an unusually full jaw; the incisors are small, the canines large, the molars are tricuspid. Didelphimorphs have a plantigrade stance and the hind feet have an opposable digit with no claw.
Like some New World monkeys, opossums have prehensile tails. Like that of all marsupials, the fur consists of awn hair only, the females have a pouch; the tail and parts of the feet bear scutes. The stomach is simple, with a small cecum. Like most marsupials, the male opossum has a forked penis bearing twin glandes. Although all living opossums are opportunistic omnivores, different species vary in the amount of meat and vegetation they include in their diet. Members of the Caluromyinae are frugivorous; the yapok is unusual, as it is the only living semi-aquatic marsupial, using its webbed hindlimbs to dive in search of freshwater mollusks and crayfish. The extinct Thylophorops, the largest known opossum at 4–7 kg, was a macropredator. Most opossums are scansorial, well-adapted to life in the trees or on the ground, but members of the Caluromyinae and Glironiinae are arboreal, whereas species of Metachirus, to a lesser degree Didelphis show adaptations for life on the ground; the Metachirus nudicaudatus, found in the upper Amazon basin, consumes fruit seeds, small vertebrate creatures like birds and reptiles and invertebrates like crayfish and snails, but seems to be most insectivorous.
As a marsupial, the female opossum has a reproductive system that includes a bifurcated vagina, a divided uterus and a marsupium, her pouch. The average estrous cycle of the opossum is about 28 days. Opossums do possess a placenta, but it is short-lived, simple in structure, unlike that of placental mammals, not functional; the young are therefore born at a early stage, although the gestation period is similar to that of many other small marsupials, at only 12 to 14 days. Once born, the offspring must find their way into the marsupium to hold on to and nurse from a teat. Baby opossums, like their Australian cousins, are called joeys. Female opossums give birth to large numbers of young, most of which fail to attach to a teat, although as many as thirteen young can attach, therefore survive, depending on species; the young are weaned between 125 days, when they detach from the teat and leave the pouch. The opossum lifespan is unusually short for a mammal of its size only one to two years in the wild and as long as four or more years in captivity.
Senescence is rapid. The species are moderately sexually dimorphic with males being larger, much heavier, having larger canines than females; the largest difference between the opossum and non-marsupial mammals is the bifurcated penis of the male and bifurcated vagina of the female. Opossum spermatozoa exhibit sperm-pairing; this may ensure that flagella movement can be coordinated for maximal motility. Conjugate pairs dissociate into separate spermatozoa before fertilization. Opossums are solitary and nomadic, staying in one area as long as food and water are available; some families will group together in ready-made burrows or under houses. Though they will temporarily occupy abandoned burrows, they do not dig or put much effort into building their own; as nocturnal animals, they favor secure areas. These areas may be below ground or above; when threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the app
The sable is a species of marten, a small carnivorous mammal inhabiting the forest environments of Russia, from the Ural Mountains throughout Siberia, northern Mongolia. Its habitat borders eastern Kazakhstan, North Korea and Hokkaidō, Japan, its range in the wild extended through European Russia to Poland and Scandinavia. It has been hunted for its valued dark brown or black fur, which remains a luxury good to this day. While hunting is still common in Russia, most fur on the market is now commercially farmed; the name sable appears to be of Slavic origin and entered most Western European languages via the early medieval fur trade. Thus the Russian соболь and Polish soból became the German Dutch Sabel; the English and Medieval Latin word sabellum comes from saible. The term has become a generic description for some black-furred animal breeds, such as sable cats or rabbits, for the colour black in heraldry. Males measure 38–56 centimetres in body length, with a tail measuring 9–12 centimetres, weigh 880–1,800 grams.
Females have a body length of 35–51 centimetres, with a tail length of 7.2–11.5 centimetres. The winter pelage is more luxurious than the summer coat. Different subspecies display geographic variations of fur colour, which ranges from light to dark brown, with individual coloring being lighter ventrally and darker on the back and legs. Japanese sables in particular are marked with black on their feet. Individuals display a light patch of fur on their throat which may be gray, white, or pale yellow; the fur is silkier than that of American martens. Sables resemble pine martens in size and appearance, but have more elongated heads, longer ears and proportionately shorter tails, their skulls are similar to those of pine martens, but larger and more robust with more arched zygomatic arches. Sables inhabit dense forests dominated by spruce, larch and birch in both lowland and mountainous terrain, they defend home territories that may be anything from 4 to 30 square kilometres in size, depending on local terrain and food availability.
However, when resources are scarce they may move considerable distances in search of food, with travel rates of 6 to 12 kilometres per day having been recorded. Sables live in the thickest parts of woods; these burrows are made more secure by being dug among tree roots. They are good climbers of trees, they are crepuscular, hunting during the hours of twilight, but become more active in the day during the mating season. Their dens are well hidden, lined by grass and shed fur, but may be temporary during the winter, when the animal travels more in search of prey. Sables are omnivores, their diet varies seasonally. In the summer, they eat large numbers of hare and other small mammals. In winter, when they are confined to their retreats by frost and snow, they feed on wild berries, rodents and small musk deer, they hunt ermine, small weasels and birds. Sometimes, sables feed on the remains of their kills, they eat molluscs such as slugs. Sables occasionally eat fish, which they catch with their front paws.
They hunt by sound and scent, they have an acute sense of hearing. Sables mark their territory with scent produced in glands on the abdomen. Predators of sable include a number of larger carnivores, such as wolves, wolverines, lynxes and large owls. Mating occurs between June and August 15, though the date varies geographically; when courting, sables run, jump and "rumble" like cats. Males dig metre long shallow grooves in the snow accompanied by urination. Males fight each other violently for females. Females enter estrus in spring. Mating can last as long as eight hours. After insemination, the blastocyst does not implant into the uterine wall of the female. Instead, implantation occurs eight months later. Sables birth in tree hollows, where they build nests composed of moss and dried grass. Litters number one to seven young, although litters of two or three are most common. Males assist females by providing food. Sables are born with eyes closed and skin covered in a thin layer of hair. Newborn cubs average 10 to 12 centimetres in length.
They open their eyes between 30 to 36 days, leave the nest shortly afterwards. At seven weeks, the young are given regurgitated food, they reach sexual maturity at the age of two years. They have been reported to live for up to twenty two years on fur farms, up to eighteen years in the wild. Sables can interbreed with pine martens; this has been observed in the wild, where the two species overlap in the Ural Mountains, is sometimes deliberately encouraged on fur farms. The resulting hybrid, referred to as a kidus, is smaller than a pure sable, with coarser fur, but otherwise similar markings, a long bushy tail. Kiduses are sterile, although there has been one recorded instance of a female kidus breeding with a male pine marten. In Russia, the sable's distribution is the result of mass re-introductions involving 19,000