After Being Hunted Until Near Extinction For Fur, Wolverine Populations Were Decimated In The U.S., And The Species Is Still Under Threat Due To Climate Change And Habitat Loss

Nazzu - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual wolverine

Many people associate the word “wolverine” with the powerful and sharp-clawed Marvel superhero. However, the comic book character is actually based on an actual animal called the wolverine.

Wolverines once roamed the United States from Michigan to California, but they were hunted almost to extinction for their fur.

Now, there are only 250 to 300 wolverines left in the lower 48 states, and they’re facing threats like habitat loss and climate change.

In November 2023, they made the U.S. Endangered Species List. Wolverines are vicious, a trait that makes them tough survivors. But there’s still so much you probably don’t know about them.

For one, many people might assume from their name that wolverines are related to dogs or that they share genetics with bears because of their appearance. In reality, wolverines are members of the weasel family. They are the largest and most fearsome ones at four feet tall.

Wolverines live in the remote tundras of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. They are well-suited for frigid environments with their big paws that help them travel through snow and their dense, oily fur coats that are resistant to frost.

Wolverines hunt small mammals like hares and rodents, as well as large ones like caribou. They’ll also scavenge on the kills of other animals. Aside from meat, they eat berries and vegetables, too.

Since they have short legs, they don’t really chase after prey. Instead, they lie in wait and pounce on their unsuspecting victims. Their teeth are so sharp and strong that they can rip through bones or carcasses covered in ice. Their long claws are used to bury food and dig dens to burrow into.

In addition, wolverines have an unpleasant stench released from special glands that they use to mark their territory and protect their food. The odor is similar to smelly cheese.

Nazzu – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual wolverine

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