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This is the real Wolverine, the animal that inspired the Marvel character

Wolverine is one of the most recognized Marvel characters, mainly because of the colors of his suit (yellow and blue), his particular mask with a design similar to the wings of a bat, and of course, his claws of adamantium.

The first time Wolverine appeared in a comic was in The Incredible Hulk # 180, volume premiered in October 1974. In that it was presented only in the last panel, but in the next volume (corresponding to November) it had a more relevant role. In fact, the cartoon was titled The Incredible Hulk and the Wolverine.

At first he was known from the comics, then he gained more recognition with the animated series X Men 1992, and eventually became immensely popular with the 2000s movies of the X Men, in which Wolverine is played by actor Hugh Jackman.

Now, where does the curious name of this character come from? Wolverine refers to an animal that lives in the north of the Scandinavian peninsula, in North America and to a greater extent in the north of Russia.

Its scientific name is Gulo Gulo, but in Spanish-speaking countries they are called glutton or wolverine. It is a carnivorous mammal that belongs to the Mustelidae family, in which it shares a place with otters, badgers, weasels and martens.

The funny thing is that in Spanish this Marvel hero has received the name of Wolverine, Dynamic Needle and even Cheetah, and it is for that reason that in Latin America it was thought that it was based on that last animal, which is the fastest on Earth. .

In reality, none had to do with the creature that inspired the character, but Spanish speakers probably would have found it strange that the superhero was called “Glutton”, since that is how someone “who eats excessively” is known, according to the RAE.

On the other hand, the mutant of the X-Men does share some characteristics with the wolverine, such as its ferocity, its sharp claws, its impressive strength and its solitary personality.


The wolverine does not usually move in a group, it prefers to walk alone. In fact, when they are young they remain with their mother only until 10 weeks of age. Furthermore, on average, a single wolverine can occupy a territory of between 260 and 1,300 square kilometers.

It is a small creature that looks like a mixture of bear and sable, in fact, it seems that it is docile and cuddly, but it is not like that: the wolverine is extremely strong and fierce. In terms of its anatomy, this animal is very muscular and can hunt larger ones, such as deer and bison.

The wolverine has even been seen fighting bears and pumas, although this is mainly due to the fact that it tends to eat the remains of the hunting of other animals. So when they return for more food, the wolverine has no choice but to defend itself.

Its cold environment, with tundra and boreal forests, does not give it many resources to feed itself, that is why it often has to resort to leftovers. However, the wolverine takes advantage of the low winter temperatures to keep its large prey (such as elk) in good condition and eat it later.

It is capable of traveling more than 30 kilometers a day in search of food, while climbing trees and frozen surfaces, digging holes and fishing thanks to its claws, or running on the snow with its feet adapted for it. But sometimes your effort is not enough and you can go weeks without finding food.

The main reason for their death has to do with hunger or fighting with other animals for food. However, humans have also played a role, by hunting them, invading their land for urbanization, and contributing to global warming. The latter has caused their high-altitude snowy habitat, on which the hatchlings depend, to decline.

“Although the polar regions are warming faster than other latitudes, similar thermal increases are occurring at high altitudes, such as rocky ones. If climate change continues as expected, wolverines could lose a third of their current biogeographic area in southern Canada by 2050 and two-thirds by the end of the century, ”he says. National Geographic.

In 2020, it was reported that there were about 300 wolverines left in the United States (not counting Alaska), and that number will sadly continue to decline. That is why conservation groups have tried to include the wolverine in the list of endangered species for 20 years. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service has resisted listing them, but it is still considered a threatened species.

Probably the fans of Wolverine (the Marvel character) are the ones who know the origins of his name and the characteristics of this animal, but in general the wolverine is not so well known.

Even Hugh Jackman didn’t know “it was a real animal” when he was called in to play the character, he even found out about wolves for weeks. wolf, which means “wolf” in Spanish).

In the recording studios, the actor was asked to play the real animal. “Well, there is no such thing as a glutton,” said Jackman, but the director of X Men (2000), Bryan Singer, replied: “Go to the zoo, friend.” The actor didn’t really know the wolverine existed.

As they say casually, “you can always learn something new”, just like Jackman at the time.

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Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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