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A Wolverine (Gulo gulo) is a species of mustelid and the sole living member of the genus Gulo that is native to the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest numbers in Northern Canada, the U.S. state of Alaska, the mainland Nordic countries of Europe, and throughout western Russia and Siberia. It is divided clearly between two subspecies: the Old World form Gulo gulo gulo and the New World form Gulo gulo luscus.

Wolverines are the largest living species of the family Mustelidae, after the giant otter and the sea otter.

Real wolverines[edit]

Wolverines are predators/scavengers that while small are quite strong and fierce, they been known to both take down prey many times their size and defend or take a kill from larger or more numerous predators. Prey species for the Wolverine include porcupine, squirrel, beaver, marmot, rabbit, vole, mice, shrew, lemming, caribou, roe deer, white-tailed deer, mule deer, sheep, moose, elk, martens, mink, foxes, Canada lynx, weasels, young Eurasian lynx, and coyote and wolf pups.

Successful males will form lifetime relationships with 2–3 females which they will visit occasionally, while other males are left without a mate. Fathers will visit their offspring until they are weaned and after their offspring are nearly grown they will sometimes travel together.

Like many other mustelids, wolverines have potent anal scent glands that are used for marking their territory and sexual signaling. The pungent odor has given rise to the nicknames "skunk bear" and "nasty cat."

Wolverines have a thick brown to dark brown water-repellent coat with many having a pale buff facial mask. They also have a pale buff stripe that runs from each shoulder down each side that meet at the rump just above the tail. With it muscular body, short stocky legs, broad rounded head with small eyes and short rounded ears Wolverines look less like mustelids and more like small bears. Wolverines also have large five-toed paws with a plantigrade posture.

Like many other mustelids, they have scent glands used for marking territory and sexual signaling, and possess a special upper molar in the back of the mouth that is rotated 90 degrees, towards the inside of the mouth. This special characteristic allows wolverines to tear off meat from prey or carrion that has been frozen solid.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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