The wolverine is a vicious predator living in the arctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. It shares a lot of its range with the reindeer. Although it resembles a small bear, the wolverine is actually one of the largest mustelids, second only to the giant otter. This animal is so powerful that it is thought that if it were the size of a bear, it would be the strongest animal on earth. The wolverine sometimes travels up to 30 miles (48 km) in one day while searching for food. They can grow up to 3 ½ feet (1.1 m) long and weigh from 35 to 60 pounds (16 to 27 kg). In past years, the wolverine’s fur was valued by trappers for hoods on parkas because it did not collect moisture from the breath; therefore it did not frost up.
Wolverines eat many things including carrion, rabbits, eggs, and occasionally berries. In the winter, they will also dig up and eat hibernating mammals. Sometimes they will also use their extreme power to kill even a moose or to drive away larger predators from their kill. Because of their voracious appetites, they are in some places called “glutton”. In the wild they live up to 12 years. Every other year, in the early spring, the females give birth to 2-5 young which they suckle for the first 8-10 weeks. After 2 years they are independent and ready to mate.
Don’t forget to check out the activity sheet under the sources.
Here’s the picture of next week’s animal.
- Animals of the world. Tom Jackson, ISBN: 978-1780191089
- Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide. David Burnie and Don E. Wilson, Smithsonian Institution, ISBN: 978-0-7566-6002-4
- coloring/activity sheet
- Wolverine – public domain
- Wolverine range – Wikipedia user:Oona Räisänen
- Mystery animal – Wikipedia user:J. Patrick Fischer