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Called “skunk bear” by the Blackfeet Indians, the wolverine is the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family that currently roams the Rocky Mountains and North Cascades in the western U.S.
See the fact file below for more information on Wolverines or alternatively, you can download our 23 page Wolverine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE NEED TO KNOW
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Mustelidae
- Genus and species: Gulo gulo
- Subspecies: Gulo gulo albus, Gulo gulo gulo, Gulo gulo katschemakensis, Gulo gulo luscus, Gulo gulo luteus and Gulo gulo vancouverensis
SIZE and APPEARANCE
- Wolverines have broad heads, small eyes and short rounded ears with dark brown fur, and often have a lighter-colored face mask and stripe running down both sides of their bodies. They are the larger cousin to otters, weasels and minks.
- They are normally 66 to 86 centimeters (26 to 34 inches) from head to rump. Their tail adds another 18 to 25 centimeters (7 to 10 inches) to their length. They weigh 10 to 18 kgs (24 to 40 lbs).
- They have big paws that that spread to twice their size when they hit the ground, distributing their weight to help them travel through snow (they can run up to 30 mph).
- They are protected by thick, oily fur that resists frost.
- Wolverines are quite stinky. The stench comes from special anal glands that allow the animals to emit an offensive odor that protects their food and marks their territory. It is from methyl butanoic acid (think smelly cheese), methyl decanoic acid (sweaty feet) and phenyl acetic acid (sweet honey).
HABITAT and HABITS
- Wolverines prefer colder areas such as the Arctic and subarctic, in grasslands, Alpine forests, taiga, boreal forests and tundra of Europe, Asia, and in North America in the northern latitudes.
- Wolverines are solitary creatures. Males mark their territory with their scent and only share their turf with females. Their territories can range from 40 miles to more than 372 miles.
- The wolverine is considered one of the most dangerous animals in Canada, having attacked humans in the past. These attacks only occurred because the wolverine was challenged or threatened by humans, though.
- Wolverines do not hibernate and are well-adapted for winter existence.
- The scientific name of the wolverine — Gulo gulo — comes from the Latin word ‘gulo’, meaning glutton. This is because the wolverine has a ferocious appetite. When it eats, it eats quickly and voraciously, leaving nothing behind, almost as if it hadn’t eaten in days.
- Wolverines are mostly scavengers, which makes them omnivores.
- Wolverines have a keen sense of smell; they can smell prey 20 feet under the snow. They will dig down into burrows and kill hibernating animals.
- Wolverines have been documented to travel great distances, often going right over mountains instead of taking the easy way around. Individual wolverines may move more than 18 miles in one night.
- Male wolverines reach sexual maturity at around 2 years of age, females at around 15 months. Once the male is ready to reproduce, he searches his mate and he will mate with them for the rest of his life.
- They mate from May to August. After mating, females create dens to have their young. These dens are often caves dug in the snow and can be up to 15 feet deep.
- Females give birth to two or three young at the same time every year, which is usually in the late winter or early spring.
- Baby wolverines are called kits. Kits are born with their eyes closed and are covered in white fur. While the females handle the bulk of the rearing, males will visit from time to time and care for the young.
- Sometimes, kits stay with their mothers until they are ready to have kits of their own.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Wolverines across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wolverine worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Wolverines which are the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family that currently roams the Rocky Mountains and North Cascades in the western U.S.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Wolverine Facts
- Quick Quiz
- The Predator
- Mustelid Family
- Map the Gulo
- Name Game Word Search
- Wolverine Around the World
- Test your Vocabulary
- Marvel’s Wolverine
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Link will appear as Wolverine Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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