WOLVERINE (probably French-Canadian, Eng. ?ruin, or CARCA,1017. The largest of the Ann.:lean fur-bearing animals (q.v.) of the family NInstelidtr, and substantially identical with the glutton (Gulp fusel's) of the Old World. It is bear-like in form, about 40 inches in total length. less than a quarter of which is taken by the tail, and is short-legged and square-beaded.
In color it is deep blackish brown, with a pale area on the back, and light spots on the throat or chest; legs, feet, and belly nearly black. It is found throughout Canada, the northern Rocky Mountain region, and thence to the Arctic shores, wherever the country is wooded; and is every where regarded. by the trappers and Indians as the most powerful, cunning, and diabolical of creatures, because it disturbs and robs their traps and breaks into their caches and lodges. It is no wonder that its qualities were exag gerated into tire fanciful tales told of the animal in Europe, as stated under GLUTTON. In reality
the wolverine is simply, to use Dr. phrase. an uncommonly large, clumsy, shaggy marten, of great strength, and displaying great perseverance and sagacity in procuring food where the supply is limited or precarious. It is imperfectly plantigrade, unable to climb trees, lives in dens or burrows, and does not hibernate. It feeds upon carcasses of large animals when it finds them slain, but does not destroy such crea tures itself, its ordinary prey being small, a fox heavy with pups, or nursing a litter in her burrow, being about the largest of its victims: It is a notorious thief, not only of stores of meat and fish, or of the baits and captives in traps, but of articles of no positive service to itself; and it exhibits extraordinary cunning in escaping destruction by the various methods designed to kill or capture it. Consult: Cones, Fur-Bear ing Animals (Washington, 1877). See Plate of FUR-BEARING ANIMALS.