Zoology

The Diet and Feeding Habits of the Wolverine



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The wolverine is often characterized as a ferocious carnivore. This large species of the Mustelidae (weasel) family definitely lives up to its name, more often than not devouring massive amounts of meat, but also consuming plant life on occasion. In fact, some scientists have even been able to link its genus name, Gulo to "glutton," which can be defined as someone (or in this case, some thing) that loves food.

Although from its name one might image that a wolverine looks more like a wolf, it is much more muscular and smaller than a wolf. Adult wolverines can range in size from twenty-five to thirty-four inches in length. They also range in weight from twenty-two to sixty-six pounds.

Despite its relative small size, the wolverine displays the diet and feeding habits of classic predators that are often multiple times its size. Undeniably, the wolverine has massive jaws that are powerful enough to crush the frozen flesh they must often consume in their natural cold-weather habitats. But, in addition to powerful jaws, the wolverine also rely on a special molar in the back of their mouths to help them slash through dense meats and even rip their prey apart.

Overall, the wolverine's diet consists mainly of meat. Wolverines will eat virtually any prey, and will usually not care about the size of their kill. They are vicious when it comes to their methods of consumption and they will tear through flesh easily. It is not uncommon to see a wolverine engaged in battle with a much larger animal (a competing predator) in order to take possession of a kill or a carcass.

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More about this author: Krystle Hernandez

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