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love_wolverines's Journal

Name:
For the Love of Wolverines
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Description:
for people who love the animal that a certain mutant gets his name from
My interest in wolverines has always been a bit vague but I suspect it started with the initial appeal I had for the character Wolverine in the X·Men comics. I was kinda stunned when I saw a photo of one the first time but very impressed all the same.

They're not exactly the most beautiful things in the world but they're not ugly either. Unless it's possible to be so ugly they're actually cute.

Blurb from Wikipedia
Anatomy
The wolverine (Gulo) is a stocky and muscular animal, considered carnivorous but known on occasion to eat plant material. It has glossy brown hair with stripes of dull yellow along the sides. Its fur is long and dense and does not retain much water, making it very resistant to frost, which is common in the wolverine's cold habitat. (For these reasons, the fur has been traditionally popular among hunters and trappers as a lining in jackets and parkas, especially for wear in Arctic conditions). The adult wolverine is about the size of a medium dog, with a length usually ranging from 65-87 cm (25-34 inches), a tail of 17-26 cm (7-10 inches), and weight of 10-30 kg (22-66 lb). Males are as much as 30 percent larger than the females. In appearance the wolverine resembles a small bear with a long tail. It has been known to give off a very strong, extremely unpleasant odor, giving rise to the nicknames "skunk bear" and "nasty cat." Wolverines, as other mustelids, possess a special upper molar in the back of the mouth that is rotated 90 degrees, or sideways. This special characteristic allows wolverines to tear off meat from prey or carrion that has been frozen solid and also to crush bones, which enables the wolverine to extract marrow.

Behavior
The wolverine is, like most mustelids, remarkably strong for its size. It has been known to kill prey as large as moose, although most typically when these are weakened by winter or caught in snowbanks. Wolverines inhabiting the Old World (specifically, Fennoscandia) are more active hunters than their North American cousins. This may be because competing predator populations are not as dense, making it more practical for the wolverine to hunt for itself than to wait for another animal to make a kill and then try to snatch it.

Armed with powerful jaws and a thick hide, wolverines may defend kills against larger or more numerous predators. There is at least one published account of a 27-pound wolverine's attempt to steal a kill from a much larger predator—namely, a black bear (adult males weigh 400 to 500 pounds). Unfortunately for the mustelid, the bear won what was ultimately a fatal contest, crushing the wolverine's skull.

Mating season is in the summer, but the actual implantation of the embryo (blastocyst) in the uterus is stayed until early winter, delaying the development of the fetus. Females will often not produce young if food is scarce. The young (typically three or four) are born in the spring. Kits develop rapidly, reaching adult size within the first year of a lifespan that may reach anywhere from five to (in exceptional individuals) thirteen years.

Adult wolverines have no natural predators, save man, though they do come into conflict with (and may be killed by) other large predators over territory and food. Juveniles are, unsurprisingly, more vulnerable and infants (kits) have been known on occasion to be taken by predatory birds, such as eagles.


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