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Wolverine (an animal related to the badger)

The wolverine (Gulo gulo), also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels). It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size.

The wolverine can be found primarily in remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern hemisphere, with the greatest numbers in northern Canada, the Alaska, the Nordic countries of Europe, and throughout western Russia and Siberia. Their populations have experienced a steady decline since the 19th century in the face of trapping, range reduction and habitat fragmentation, such that they are essentially absent in the southern end of their European range. It is, however, estimated that large populations remain in North America and northern Asia. Wolverines are solitary animals.

Anatomically, the wolverine is a stocky and muscular animal. With short legs, broad and rounded head, and small eyes with short rounded ears, it resembles a bear more than other mustelids. Though its legs are short, its large five-toed paws and plantigrade posture facilitate movement through deep snow.

The adult wolverine is about the size of a medium dog, with a length usually ranging from 65107 cm (2642 in), a tail of 1726 cm (6.710 in), and a weight of 925 kg (2055 lb), though exceptionally large males can weigh up to 32 kg (71 lb). The males are as much as 30% larger than the females and can be twice the female's weight. Shoulder height is reported from 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in). It is the largest of terrestrial mustelids; only the marine-dwelling sea otter and giant otter of the Amazon basin are larger.

Wolverines have thick, dark, oily fur which is highly hydrophobic, making it resistant to frost. This has led to its traditional popularity among hunters and trappers as a lining in jackets and parkas in Arctic conditions. A light silvery facial mask is distinct in some individuals, and a pale buff stripe runs laterally from the shoulders along the side and crossing the rump just above a 2535 cm (9.814 in) bushy tail. Some individuals display prominent white hair patches on the throat or chest.

Like many other mustelids, it has potent anal scent glands used for marking territory and sexual signaling. The pungent odor has given rise to the nicknames "skunk bear" and "nasty cat." Wolverines, like other mustelids, 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.

Secrets of the Sett DVD
Natural World - Badgers Secrets Of The Sett [DVD]Superb DVD which follows a badger clan through a whole year. Shows movements above and below ground, and includes breathtaking footage. Sir David Attenborough narrates: Secrets Of The Sett
Michael Clark
Superb
book by
Michael
Clark.
His affection
for badgers
really shines
through.
We really recommend this book. Click here to buy Badgers by Michael Clark
Michael Clark
Superb
book by
Michael
Clark.
His affection
for badgers
really shines
through.
We really recommend this book. Click here to buy Badgers by Michael Clark