Wolverines: Gluttons of the Arctic

A brief article about these amazing animals.

The wolverine. This is an animal that not many people know much about. In the phylum chordata, and the class mammalia, the wolverine got its name from its old German term, Vielfraß, roughly meaning “devours much.” This name seems to fit the wolverine, for it will eat anything from mice to birds, from moles to deer, birds and eggs as well as seasonal fruits. Also on very rare occasions, there have been sightings of them eating each other.

The wolverine mostly lives in the isolated parts of Canada and North America. Scandinavia and Northern Europe are also home to these animals.

Though, until the mid nineteenth century, the wolverine could still be found in Sierra Nevada in California, and a few in the Rocky Mountains.

This animal has a very interesting anatomy, an adult about the size of a medium dog measuring 25 – 34 in. The males may grow up to be 30 percent larger then the females. The wolverine moves on four short legs, but even with this handicap, the wolverine can run extremely fast for its size, up to 15 miles per hour. The wolverine’s also has a back molar that is rotated 90 degrees, basically sideways. This allows the animal the tear meat off of a carcass that has been frozen solid for days, and also the crush bones to extract marrow. I suppose the only way it is really helpful to humans is when it eats pests such as mice and rats. It is harmful still though. There are a few recorded cases of wolverine attacks on humans. In the attacks, a human is rarely killed, but usually is severely injured. Hundreds of years ago, Indians called the wolverine things like, mountain devil, or death spirit, because it looks “ferocious.” The female may give birth to three or four kits at a time (occasionally five) The kits may reach the size of adult within the first year of their life. The wolverine may live anywhere from ten to fifteen years. I belive that that the wolverine is an awesome creation, no matter what stories say.

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