many bells down

More than just X-Men
February 22, 2006, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Animals, Science

wolverineLast week, scientists in the Pacific Northwest captured their first live wolverine – a 19 pound, three-foot long female they named Melanie.

They fitted the creature with a radio collar and ear tag, which will track the creature through July 2007 and allow scientists to learn more about her range, the elevations she travels in and her habits. Read more about the capture here.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the word “wolverine” was Hugh Jackman and his many muscles (he’s hot…sue me). And when I googled “wolverine” for images, I got mostly X-Men related pictures.  After drooling a bit over pics of the aforementioned very-hot Mr. Jackman, I decided it would be worthwhile to learn a little bit about the wolverine that has nothing to do with X-Men.

 Known for their ferocious nature and unpleasant smell, wolverines found in Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia or the Rocky Mountain states. They are the largest members of the weasel family; males can weigh as much as 66 pounds – the weight of a medium-sized dog – and can grow to be 27″ to 43″ long. The chocolate-colored animal, whose dense fur allows it to thrive in its cold habitat, resembles a small bear and is largely a scavenger. They are not dangerous to humans, preferring to settle in remote areas where human activity is limited – they don’t thrive in areas where the land has been altered.

Wolverines mate in the summer, but the implantation of the egg in the uterus is delayed until winter; there are generally three or four “kits” are in a litter. They grow rapidly: In seven months, the kits reach adult size. The wolverine can live for up to 13 years.

Wolves and other large predators kill, but don’t often eat, wolverines. The primary threats to their survival comes from the destruction of their habitat and hunting the animals for their pelts. These factors, combined with its need for a large home range and low population density, make wolverines a candidate for the endangered species list.

[Photo Source]


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