Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fisher

The fisher is a North American marten, a medium sized mustelid.

The fisher is agile in trees and has a slender body that allows it to pursue prey into hollow trees or burrows in the ground.

Despite its name, this animal seldom eats fish; the name may originate from the French word fichet, which referred to the pelt of a European polecat.

The fisher is found from the Sierra Nevada in California to the Appalachians in West Virginia and north to New England (where it is often called a fisher cat), as well as in southern Alaska and across most of Canada.

Fishers are present in low density in the Rocky Mountains, where most populations are the result of reintroductions.

There is recent evidence, however, that a Montana population persisted in a refugium despite extensive fur trapping in the area during the 1800s and 1900s.

Fishers are most often found in coniferous or mixed forests with high, continuous canopy cover.

Adults weigh between 2 and 7 kg (12-25 lbs) and are between 65 and 125 cm (27-49 inches) in length.

Males are about twice the size of females, with the smallest females having been recorded being as small as 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs), hardly larger than most other martens, and males at as much as 9 kg (20 lbs).

Their coats are darkish brown, with a black tail and legs; some individuals have a cream-colored patch on the chest.

All four feet have five toes with retractable claws.

Because they can rotate their hind paws 180 degrees, they can grasp limbs and climb down trees head first.

A circular patch of hair on the central pad of their hind paws marks plantar glands that give off a distinctive odor, which is believed to be used for communication during reproduction.

Fishers are also known for one of their calls, which is often said to sound like a child screaming, and can be mistaken for someone in dire need of help.

Hunting and diet Fishers are solitary hunters.

Their primary prey include hares, rabbits, squirrels, mice, shrews, and porcupines.

While fishers and mountain lions are the only regular predators of porcupines, the fisher is the only predator to have a specialized a killing technique.

By repeatedly biting and scratching at the porcupine's face, they cause it to bleed to death.

Because most of the porcupine is covered in quills, the fisher then eats the porcupine by flipping the dead animal over.

Fishers are also known to eat ground nesting birds such as grouse and turkeys.

Often, young of the year and eggs make easy targets.

Also, in some areas fishers can become pests to farmers because they will get into a pen and kill large numbers of chickens.

Fishers have also been known to eat small pets left outside, such as stray cats and dogs.

While this is rare, when densities are high and food resources are low, animals may become desperate.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Fisher", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Videos

last updated on 2014-04-18 at 6:36 am EDT

Annual 'Running of the Roaches' in Wisconsin

Annual 'Running of the Roaches' in Wisconsin

AP (Oct. 10, 2013) Off to the races: A Wisconsin pest management company paints numbers on cockroaches and then races them every year for sport. The company is donating $500 to the Fisher House Foundation on behalf of the winning team. (Oct. 10)
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blobfish Named World's Ugliest Animal

Blobfish Named World's Ugliest Animal

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2013) The public voted the blobfish the world's ugliest animal. It will now serve as the mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brazil's Wildlife Victim of Lucrative Trafficking

Brazil's Wildlife Victim of Lucrative Trafficking

AFP (May 1, 2012) The Brazilian rainforest is alive with a huge range of colorful wildlife of all shapes and sizes. But this wildlife is under threat from an increasingly aggressive animal trafficking network. With lesser criminal penalties, animal trafficking is almost as lucrative as drugs and arms trafficking.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Activists Vent Anger Over Hong Kong Roof Top Shark Fin Operation

Activists Vent Anger Over Hong Kong Roof Top Shark Fin Operation

Reuters (Jan. 4, 2013) Animal rights activists discover undercover shark fin operation on a factory rooftop in Hong Kong.
Powered by NewsLook.com

Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins