Wolverine (Gulo gulo)
Despite its name, the wolverine is not related to the wolf. The wolverine is very clever like a wolf, but he is much more resourceful than a wolf. The wolverine is related to the weasel, they are known to be very shy and like most weasels the wolverine is scarcely seen. There are people who have spent years in the Alaskan wild and never seen one. Although you may not see them, you can smell them because like most weasels the wolverine has glands that it often uses to mark territory. Even though they have a shy nature, those who have seen the wolverine attest to their feistiness. The wolverine is also very fierce, fearless and protective of its young. The wolverine inherited the weasels powerful back and legs.
The wolverine is always on the move and is always trying different ways to get the job done. Sometimes in order to do that he uses rocks or his body as a wedge, he might use his head to push up his obstacle, if he cant push an obstacle, he will literally stand on his head to see if that will move his obstacle. Because of his work and eating ethics, I consider him one of the most resourceful animals in the Arctic.
Characteristics and Physical Features of the Wolverine
Length: 3-4 ft.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Two pale stripes down it's back.
Breeding: Once a year.
The Arctic mainland of Russia, Alaska, Canada,
Does the wolverine deserve his name?
The name wolverine means glutton. The wolverine doesnt eat more than he needs. If he kills a caribou or bear he will spray it with musk and bury it. Later he will come back and finish it.
Is the wolverine fast?
The wolverine has two speeds, fast and stop. If the wolverine is not sprinting it is at a complete stop. Therefore to catch prey, the wolverine must ambush, pounce or find a slower animal.
Why do wolverines go at their top speed?
Going as fast as possible helps the wolverine stay on top of the snow. This MUST be done or it cant cover the distance it has to for finding food.
What does the wolverine do if he is slower than his prey?
To attack prey, the wolverine will climb to the top of a rock or a tall stump, then when a deer of some other medium to large animal comes along the wolverine will jump squarely on the unfortunate animals back, breaking or severing vital organs.
Why are big feet helpful for the wolverine?
The wolverines big furry feet act as snowshoes in the winter allowing the wolverine to bound along on the top of the snow and chase caribou, moose or other large animals. The prey exhausts itself where as the wolverine can move quickly.
Does the wolverine have any handicaps?
The wolverine has bad eyesight, is slow, and clumsy. The wolverines bad eyesight and slow pace requires it to hunt in an ambush type way, and the clumsiness doesnt help any either.
How big is a wolverines territory?
The wolverines territory can be quiet large, sometimes reaching 200 square miles. It will leave its scent on hills and on rocks to say to other wolverines back off, this is my spot!
How do arctic people benefit from the wolverine?
Although the Alaska natives dont let any part of the wolverine go to waste, they prize the soft warm fur to keep them warm in subzero temperatures. This fur is used in making ruff for parkas (the lining of the face opening on the hood). Wolverine fur has a durability rating of 100 which means its hairs do not break off so it lasts for years. It is used around the face because frost will not form on it.
Written by Aaron