Wolverine Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Wolverines are a kind of animal that are well-matched to their environment. This lesson will teach you about wolverines, where they live, what they eat, and some cool facts about these animals!

What is a Wolverine?

Imagine you are high up on a mountain, among the snowy trees, and the air is very cold. There are no people around, and you are a long way from town. You notice a medium-sized brown creature in the distance sniffing the air and looking at you. It looks like a cross between a small bear and a skunk, but it's neither of those animals! You have just seen the mysterious wolverine!

Wolverines are shaggy, dark brown animals with light stripes that are known for being strong and are related to weasels. They usually weigh between 15 and 40 pounds, and live to be between 4 and 12 years old.

Wolverine
Wolverine

Scientists have had a hard time studying how wolverines live in the wild because they live far away from people in harsh conditions and are not seen very often. They are beginning to learn more with the help of technology, like satellite collars, which help them track wolverines without having to actually follow them around. No one wants to play hide and seek with these animals!

Wolverines have a reputation for being extremely aggressive and spend most of their time by themselves. They are also very stinky and use their strong smell to mark their territory so that other wolverines know to watch out because they are in someone else's neighborhood!

Where do Wolverines Live?

In the wild, wolverines live in the cold, northern areas on the continents of Europe, Asia and North America. They like forests and tundra, which are large areas of land where the ground is frozen and there aren't any trees.

Wolverine in the Snow Caught by a Trail Camera
Wolverine in the Snow

Mother wolverines build dens deep in the snow to keep their babies, called kits, warm and safe. When they are born, they are white as snow! Those kits will stay with their mother until they are about 2 years old, and then go find their own territory.

Adult wolverines have very thick, mostly brown fur that keeps them warm, just like the coat you wear on chilly days. They are excellent climbers and have large, curved claws that let it climb ice and cliffs as easily as you walk down the street.

Wolverine with Wide Paws and Sharp Claws
Wolverine with Wide Paws and Sharp Claws

Wolverines also have wide, webbed paws that let them walk on snow that is several feet deep without sinking in. You would have to wear snowshoes to walk on snow like a wolverine!

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