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Gulo gulo

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The wolverines (also known as the Skunk Bear or Glutton) is a large, strong, ferocious type of weasel that lives in cool forests and tundra in North America, Europe, and Asia. This solitary mammal is a slow runner but it can climb trees. Wolverines are protected by law in some places; overhunting brought them to the brink of extinction around 1900, but they recovered very well.

Anatomy: The wolverine is a bulky quadruped with a bushy tail. It has thick dark brown fur with cream to yellow markings on the face, sides, and tail. This mammal ranges from 26 to 34 inches (66-86 cm) long plus a 7-10 inch (18-25 cm) tail. The wolverine weighs up to 40 pounds (18 kg). Males are larger than females.

Hunting and Diet: Wolverines are omnivores (meat and plant eaters). They eat carrion (dead meat that they find), large and small mammals (like weak caribou, deer, and rodents), birds, eggs, fish, plants, roots, and fruit. They can kill animals that are bigger than they are. Wolverines sometimes kill more animals or meat than they can eat, so they store the remainder underground. Wolverines have powerful jaws that can crush bones.

Classification: kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae (weasels, ferrets, minks, skunks, otters, badgers), Genus Gulo, Species G. Gulo.

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