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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Beuty Of The Wolverine


Beuty Of Animlas | The Beuty Of The Wolverine | The wolverine, pronounced, Gulo gulo (Gulo is Latin for "glutton"), also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, quickhatch, or gulon, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels). It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size.

The wolverine can be found primarily in remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern hemisphere, with the greatest numbers in Alaska, Canada, the Nordic countries of Europe, and throughout western Russia and Siberia. Their populations have experienced a steady decline since the 19th century in the face of trapping, range reduction and habitat fragmentation, such that they are essentially absent in the southern end of their European range. It is, however, estimated that large populations remain in North America and North Asia

Genetic evidence suggests that the wolverine is most closely related to the tayra and martens (scientific names Eira and Martes respectively), all of which shared a Eurasian ancestor.

Within the Gulo genus, there is a clear separation between two subspecies: the Old World form Gulo gulo gulo and the New World form G. g. luscus. Some authors had described as many as four additional North American subspecies, including ones limited to Vancouver Island (G. g. vancouverensis) and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska (G. g. katschemakensis). However, the most currently accepted taxonomy recognizes either the two continental subspecies or recognize G. gulo as a single Holarctic taxon.

Recently compiled genetic evidence suggests that most of North America's wolverines are descended from a single source, likely originating from Beringia during the last glaciation and rapidly expanding thereafter, though there is considerable uncertainty to this conclusion due to the difficulty of collecting samples in the extremely depleted southern extent of the range.

Anatomically, the wolverine is a stocky and muscular animal. With short legs, broad and rounded head, and small eyes with short rounded ears, it resembles a bear more than other mustelids. Its legs are short, while its large five-toed paws and plantigrade posture facilitate movement through deep snow.

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 a weight of 10–25 kg (22–55 lb), though exceptionally large males can weigh over 31 kg (70 lb).[6] The males are as much as 30 percent larger than the females. It is the largest of terrestrial mustelids; only the marine-dwelling sea otter and giant otter of the Amazon basin are larger.

Wolverines have thick, dark, oily fur which is highly hydrophobic, making it resistant to frost. This has led to its traditional popularity among hunters and trappers as a lining in jackets and parkas in Arctic conditions. A light silvery facial mask is distinct in some individuals, and a pale buff stripe runs laterally from the shoulders along the side and crossing the rump just above a 25–35 cm bushy tail. Some individuals display prominent white hair patches on the throat or chest.

Like many other mustelids, it has potent anal scent glands used for marking territory and sexual signaling. The pungent odor has given rise to the nicknames "skunk bear" and "nasty cat." Wolverines, like other mustelids, possess a special upper molar in the back of the mouth that is rotated 90 degrees, towards the inside of the mouth. This special characteristic allows wolverines to tear off meat from prey or carrion that has been frozen solid.

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