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The Wolverine

Updated on June 27, 2011

The Wolverine is a member of the Mustelids. It is the largest member of the Weasel Family. Though it rarely reaches more than 25 Kilograms in weight it is tremendously strong and almost fearless. In appearance it resembles a small stretched out bear. It has an excellent sense of smell and acute hearing but relatively poor eyesight.

As it is mainly a crepuscular or nocturnal hunter it is rarely seen. Moving rapidly when hunting it is not unusal for this small animal to cover a dozen or more miles in a night. They are excellent swimmers and climb trees easily. Although well capable of pulling down animals much bigger than itself such as moose or deer it will subsist happily on carrion and being omnivotous eat berries and roots too.

The strength and courage of this mightly little mammal means that other predators like wolves, bears and pumas will give it a wide berth. The Wolverine has large flat feet and big claws. Acting rather like snow shoes they allow it to traverse easily over soft snow, The claws too are useful both in hunting, climbing and defense.

Wolverine Fights Wolf

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The Wolverine is found throughout the forests and tundra of the Northern hemisphere, though North America, Europe and Asia.

The scientific name for the Wolverine is Gulo gulo and it sometimes known as the Glutton.

The Wolverine is monestrous and will breed only every second year when a litter of up to six young are born from sping to early summer after a delayed implantation stretches the pregnancy out to six months.

In the wild the Wolverine will live as long as ten years whereas in captivity animals of nearly twice this age are not unknown.

The only Wolverines in the UK are housed at Edinburgh Zoo. The alpha male was recently re-named 'Logan' in honour of the comic book character.

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The Other Wolverine

The other Wolverine (Logan) is a popular Marvel Comics fictional Super Hero who is now so often associated with the X-men. Still a comic book favourite Wolverine has been the central character of a number of TV productions and more recently on the Big Screen too.

The latest 2009 movie 'Wolverine' stars Hugh Jackman in the role of Logan. This movie deals with the X-Men origins. Like so many movies the story is twisted for the big screen and strays away from the original story. 

Apart from tenacity of spirit and big claws the fictional Wolverine bears no similarities to the animal from which he took his name.

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  • profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago

    Peggy W - yes the Wolverine won but the wolf walked off a lot wiser for the future.

    Tom - You know I think you are right.

  • Tom Rubenoff profile image

    Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

    Teenagers are a lot like wolverines: tenacious, fearless (not knowing better), and unpredictably dangerous. The wolverine has always captured my imagination.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

    They are kind of cute. I couldn't watch the entire youtube video of the wolf vs. wolverine. I KNOW it is nature.....and I realize the wolverine probably won in the end. Powerful little critter.

  • Peter Dickinson profile image

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    shammelabboush, men are dorks, cindyvine..thanks,

    I tried to remember the title of a book I read some thirty years ago. True story of a guy in Finland who hand reared several Wolverine. He had them all in and around his house. They appeared to make excellent house pets. Mind you he did live in the middle of a forest. All the same I was jealous. Great little creatures!

  • cindyvine profile image

    Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

    I don't think I'd want to be locked up in a room with that scrawny little wolf thingy, M.A.D

  • men are dorks profile image

    men are dorks 8 years ago from Namibia

    Peter, you amazed me again and taught me a something. I always thought they were wolves, mean and rough. I was surprised. I dont think my kids will like it coz in the movie he's a hero and in the picture it looks like a scrauny little wolf thingy. Well done again mate.

  • shamelabboush profile image

    shamelabboush 8 years ago

    Oh, distinguished animal! Nice photos there too.