glutton (Mess mess) It is a medium-sized mammal known to be vicious and strong in comparison to its size.

Profile of a glutton

Although it has an appearance very similar to that of a bear, in reality, it is related to the weasel.

Features

The wolverine is similar to a small bear, squatting and width 65 - 90 cm in length not including the thick 13 - 26 cm tail; the height of the shoulders is 36 - 45 cm and they weigh between 9 - 30 kg.

The ears are short. It has strong jaws accompanied by large teeth with which it can crush large bones and eat meat that has been frozen in the harsh Arctic winter.

The legs are short and somewhat arched, the soles of the feet are hairy with elongated semi-retractile claws that are strong, sharp and powerful that are used to catch their prey and defend themselves from predators. They can also be used for climbing and digging.

In the same way as the skunk, it has anal glands that secrete a strong-smelling liquid called musk that is used to scare off predators.

The coat consists of long, coarse-textured blackish-brown hair with a light brown stripe running from each side of the neck along the body to the base of the tail.

It is prepared for the snow. Her big feet help her move through it. The fur is also adapted, having a thick layer of brown hair to protect it from strong frosts.

Behavior

The wolverine is a territorial animal that will fight with other wolverines to defend the territory. It is a solitary and nocturnal hunter.

They are not excessively fast, although they can reach 48 km / h if necessary; prefers not to chase or stalk its prey.

They are good climbers and tend to rest in the trees, where they wait for the right moment to attack their prey from trees or large rocks.

Habitat

The wolverine lives in mountainous areas and in dense forests. When it comes to foraging they can venture out into open fields like plains and farmland.

Distribution

The wolverine is found throughout Canada, Europe, and in parts of North America and the Arctic Circle.

Food

The wolverine is a carnivorous animal that feeds on birds, eggs, mice, rats, and other small mammals during the summer months. During the winter, it feeds on large animals such as reindeer (caribou), sheep, and elk.

Although it is capable of hunting much larger animals than it is, it prefers to scavenge the kills of wolves and bears. The method used is to wait for the other animal to hunt the prey, and when it goes to feed, it will try to intimidate you by showing teeth and growling fiercely. If she succeeds, she will keep the prey.

Glutton carrying a prey
Glutton carrying a prey

Predators

The wolverine has hardly any natural predators. They are animals capable of dealing with animals several times their size, such as wolves and cougars, although on rare occasions they can be victims. However, the young can be preyed upon by wolves, cougars, black bears, brown bears, and golden eagles.

Humans hunt them for their meat and especially for their skin.

Reproduction

The female wolverine has a litter every two to three years. The courtship has a short period, between February and March. Before giving birth, the female digs a burrow made up of tunnels in a vestibule close to large rocks.

The gestation period lasts nine months. Then she will give birth to a small litter of 1 - 5 young. It will take care of them for 10 weeks, when they are big and strong enough to start hunting.

It usually lives between 8 - 13 years in the wild. In captivity they can reach 20 years.

State of conservation

The wolverine is classified as a near threatened species. The number of individuals is decreasing due to hunting and habitat loss.

Relationship with humans

Humans hunt the wolverine for its meat and above all, for its fur it is valuable as an accessory for parkas because frostbite and frozen mist can be easily cleaned from its smooth hairs.

Scientists study North American individuals because they appear to depend on deep snow areas. A decline in populations has been observed in areas where snowfall has decreased due to global warming. Heavy snowfalls are believed to provide more food resources, as deer, elk, and other ungulates carcasses are more abundant under these conditions, and rodents are found in abundance creating tunnels under the snow.

Popular culture

The wolverine is present in as mascots of cities, teams and organizations. For example, the US state of Michigan is known as "the glutton state" and the university has it as a mascot.

The Marvel Comis character named James "Logan" Howleett was called "Wolverine" (Nt: it is the name of the wolverine in English) because he shares some characteristics of the animal such as: short stature, sharp sensitivity, strong claws and ferocity.

It occupies a prominent place in the mythology of the Innu people located in eastern Québec and Labrador. From their point of view, they consider him the creator of the world.

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