The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Day Eight of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Wolverine

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Photographer Steve Kroschel

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Photographer Steve Kroschel

Scientific Name: Gulo gulo

Gulo” is Latin for glutton and French for gullet or throat.

Where Wolverines Live:

Wolverines live throughout Canada, Europe, parts of North America and the Arctic Circle where they reside in mountainous regions and dense forests. They live in Scandinavia and Russia to 50 degrees North latitude and in Alaska and northern Canada, but also in mountainous regions along the Pacific Coast as far south as the Sierras of California. Wolverines used to live in southern Europe and North America but were extirpated there due to hunting and deforestation. Wolverines live exclusively in cold climates in areas with low human development and need large, undisturbed ranges in order to survive.

wolverine_range

What Wolverines Eat:

The wolverine diet can include anything from small eggs to moose. They are capable of bringing down prey that is five times bigger than themselves, including deer and wild sheep. Wolverines also opportunistically scavenge the carcasses of whales, walruses, and seals. Female wolverines may hunt smaller animals such as rabbits, squirrels, marmots and lemmings when they are rearing young.

How Long Wolverines Live: 5-7 years in the wild. Up to 17 years in captivity.

Why Wolverines are Awesome:

Wolverines are extremely strong and aggressive for their size and they have been reported to drive bears, cougars, and even packs of wolves from their kills in order to take the carcass.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Why We Care about Wolverines:

Wolverines are important top predators and scavengers in the ecosystems in which they live. In spite of this, wolverines have low population densities and have vanished from most of their former range in the United States.

Here is the PBS Nature Series Documentary on wolverines.

 

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2013 by in Arctic Animals, Mammals, Wildlife.
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