The largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, the wolverine has a reputation for fierceness that betrays its short, stocky size. Shaped more like a bear than other long, slender mustelids, the wolverine is remarkably strong and can sometimes take down much larger prey, such as elk and caribou. In fact, wolverines have been known to even try to steal food from top predators such as bears despite the risks involved.
Wolverines den in snow tunnels up to 175 feet long, and the snow must remain thick and sturdy to support the den until the spring thaw. This becomes an issue for the wolverine as climate change prematurely melts the snow it depends on. In fact, mothers will abandon their dens if rising temperatures melt them too early, even if the vulnerable, young kits aren’t old enough to leave.
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