The Wolverine, the Largest Member of the Weasel Family
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The Wolverine, the Largest Member of the Weasel Family

Wolverines are the largest member of the weasel family.

Wolverines are the largest member of the weasel family that lives on land, while the Sea Otter is the largest marine member of the family. They can be found in the polar areas of the Northern hemisphere, meaning that they live in the Northern United States, Canada, Russia, and the Nordic areas of Europe. While the population of Wolverines in Europe has steadily declined, the population in North America still remains prolific.

The Wolverine is a powerfully built animal that resembles a bear more than a weasel. The average Wolverine can grow to be 32 to 44 inches long, including their tail. Most weigh between 22 to 55 pounds, but large males can weigh up to 70 pounds. Males Wolverines are 30 percent larger and heavier than females.

Wolverines have dark brown fur with silver markings around their face, and sometimes a silver streak down their back. They have dense weather resistant coats that can stand up to the coldest of temperatures, making them perfect for artic areas. Wolverines have a musk spray that is far stronger than a skunk’s. They use their spray to mark their un-eaten food so other animals do not scavenge it. Although, other animals may not be able to eat a carcass sprayed with Wolverine musk, wolverines have no problem at all.

Wolverines are cunning and intelligent. They are omnivores that primarily eat meat, but do eat some berries, roots and plants in the summer. They will travel long distances to hunt food and are opportunistic predators, which preys on anything that moves. Prey ranges from hares, bobcats, baby deer and baby bison, livestock, wounded animals, and beaver. They have also been known to kill young or weak bears, coyotes, people’s pets, and carrion. Wolverines are also notorious for bullying other animals and stealing their food. Wolverines are apex predators, which mean they are at the top of the food chain. While other animals such as wolves, bears, and cougars may attack a wounded Wolverine, these animals would not attack a healthy one. Humans kill Wolverines for their fur and in protection of their livestock.

Wolverines are usually solitary, and have great endurance and are able to travel long distances without a break. They are nocturnal and though they usually like to keep their feet on the ground, they are agile tree climbers and good swimmers.

Wolverines are pugnacious animals that would rather fight than flee and are not intimidated by the largest of adversary. They are interesting creatures, best left alone and admired from a far. Not an animal that should ever be approached or owned as a pet.

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Comments (2)

Very enlightening. I first thought wolverine is some kind of wolf considering the X-men counterpart played by Hugh Jackman grows extremely claws.

Years ago I think I encountered one of these in a wooded western New York forest, in winter. Unusual tracks, unlike ANY animal I have ever seen and 'bodice' imprints in the snow. Something created these meter-long 'crators' in the snow that each had four deep leg-tracks with foot impressions unlike any animal I have ever known. I would have thought it was a bobcat or lynx except that I know what tracks they leave and this was NOT a large cat that did this. I might have considered a bear cub maybe, -but again, the footprints weren't quite right... I followed this mystery track for a quarter mile and decide that whatever created these I did not want to meet so I left it alone and returned to camp...