No, this isn't about Hugh Jackman's portrayal of one of Marvel Comic's most well known mutant superheroes. (Though my inner fangirl does find that idea highly interesting. There can never been enough Hugh Jackman.) No, this is about the animal that gave inspiration to his name - the Wolverine.
Also known as the 'skunk bear' and 'gulo gulo' (meaning glutton), the wolverine is an animal that is rarely studied in the wild. They're elusive, mostly because of the home ranges they decide to inhabit. They live in the toughest, roughest and most remote terrain. They eat anything and everything, dead or alive, warm or frozen solid. They'll climb anything, even mountains, traveling long distances without effort, either across deep snow or up the sides of a cliff. Their territories can stretch an incredible 500 square miles, their home turf surpassing even that of a grizzly bear.
Weighing between 20 and 60 pounds, wolverines are the largest land dwelling weasel. They're smaller than many of the other mammals in their territories, but their size masks their strength and fearlessness. Razor sharp teeth and strong jaws enable them to eat even the bones of the animals it finds or kills, and finding a meal is easy with a sense of smell that can detect a carcass under twenty feet of snow, enabling them to find meals even after an avalanche has decimated the area.
Wolverines are, perhaps, best known for their attitudes. They're a creature that doesn't take flak from anyone or anything. They'll fight wolves and other predators for a meal without backing down simply because they're smaller - there has even been a report of a 30 pound wolverine trying to steal a carcass from an adult black bear weighing upwards of 400 pounds!
Once thought to be a vicious loner, wolverines have been found to share their territories with their families. Mother wolverines will keep their young around for almost a year, and, unlike many other creatures, the kits father also has a role in raising them. He returns from time to time to help teach and care for the kits, working side by side with the mother of his offspring.
Their massive paws (with twenty sharp claws in all) have dual uses. Their hook-like claws are not only useful for defense and offense, but they allow the wolverine to scale almost anything without difficulty - sheer cliffs, mountain sides, or frozen waterfalls are no barrier to the wolverine. And their paws also double as snowshoes, overly large, in order allow them to easily navigate through deep snow - something that they depend on.
Pregnant females have been known to dig their dens in 15 foot deep snow. Since this happens in the spring, climate change is a very real risk. They need the snow to last well into March, and as temperatures increase, the lack of deep snow will shrink their habitats even further - habitats that have already shrunk due to human activity.