A descendent of the pine marten, this is a fast, fierce and above all, stealthy predator. It uses the natural cover of the fissures in the limestone pavements (the grykes) as cover to stalk unwary prey, such as the scrofa.

Classification Edit

S - Martes marten

G - Marten

F - Mustelidae

O - Carnivora

C - Mammalia

P - Chordata

K - Animalia


They have sleek, glossy fur with button nose and fluffy tail and their ears hidden in fur.

Sinuous and agile for hunting, they move in a slinky, sinuous way. The camouflaging face mask breaks up the outline of the gryken’s face.

It seems likely gryken would mark their large territories with scent from anal glands in the same way as their ancestors.


The gryken is a carnivore, with well developed cutting canines protruding over the lower jaw. They have strong necks and powerful jaws.

Gryken kill by slashing the belly of a young scrofa, which they may leave to die. In hard times, they will scavenge.


Not known, but might resemble the pine marten:

Mating at two or three years of age, in the months of July and August, after a noisy and at times violent courtship in which the male chases the female at speed through the trees.

The implantation of the fertilised eggs in the female's uterus is delayed for about seven months, and only takes place in February or early March.

After a gestation period of about a month, the young are born in late March or early April, in a nest. The average litter size is three, and the young gryken or kits weigh about 30 gm. and are blind at birth. After five weeks, the eyes open, and the mother, who is solely responsible for raising the young, weans them at about six weeks of age.

At seven or eight weeks, the kits venture out of the den, and they can begin dispersing at 12-16 weeks, which is during the next breeding season, although some may remain in their mother's territory until the following spring.

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