Wolf vs. Wolverine

Wolf vs. Wolverine

Wolf and wolverine are types of medium-sized mammals. Despite similar names, they are not closely related. Wolf is a canid (member of the family Canidae), while wolverine belongs to the weasel family. Wolverine inhabits boreal forests and subarctic tundra of Europe, Asia and North America, while wolf can be found in the forests, deserts, grasslands and tundra all over the northern hemisphere. Here's the list of morphological and behavioral characteristics that can facilitate identification of these animals:

Size

Wolverine is smaller than wolf. It can reach 25 to 34 inches in length and 22 to 55 pounds of weight. Wolf can reach 41 to 63 inches in length and 40 to 175 pounds of weight.

Morphology of the Body

Wolverine has broad, rounded head, small eyes and short, rounded ears. It has stocky, muscular (bear-like) body and short tail. Wolverine has short legs with large paws which facilitate movement across the snow. Its thick, oily fur is dark brown, nearly black colored. Some animals have silver markings on the face and white fur on the chest or throat. Wolf has large head, elongated muzzle, small, triangular ears, long legs and long, bushy tail. It has dense fur that can be grey, white, beige, reddish, brown or black-colored, depending on the subspecies and habitat.

Hunting Techniques

Wolverine is solitary animal. It rarely actively hunts its prey. Instead, it feeds on the carrion (leftovers of meals of wolves and other large predators). Wolverine will occasionally try to chase away predators from the carrion or to steal food. Wolves are social creatures that live and hunt in packs made of usually 7 to 8 members. They are very fast and able to run at high speed for up to 20 minutes. After long chase, exhausted prey does not have enough strength to fight back and it quickly surrenders to a pack of hungry wolves.

Diet

Wolves usually hunt and eat moose, deer, elk, caribou, wild boar, wild goats and sheep, American bison, marmots, badgers, waterfowls and their eggs. They occasionally consume berries and fruit such as apples, pears and melons. Wolverine prefers smaller prey such as porcupines, beavers, marmots, rabbits and voles. Large animals such as caribou, elk and white-tail deer are occasionally on the menu.

Reproduction

Wolves form monogamous couples that last for a lifetime. Pregnancy lasts 62 to 75 days and ends with 5 to 6 pups (rarely up to 14). Male provides food for the female and its offspring until they become ready to hunt together with other members of the pack. Male wolverine forms lifelong relationship with few females. He visits them regularly during the mating season. Wolverine gives birth to 2 to 3 babies after pregnancy of 30 to 50 days. Father shows parental care until its offspring reach the age of 10 weeks.

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