Glutton , a carnivorous mammal, belonging to the family mustelidoe, subfamily martinoe, and genus gulo (Storr). The dental formula is that of the true martens, viz.: incisors 3/3-3/3, canines 1/1-1/1, premolars 4/4-4/4, molars 1/2-1/2 = 1/2-8/0, in all 38; the first three molars in the upper and the first four in the lower jaw are small, succeeded by a larger carnivorous tooth. In dentition and general structure the glutton resembles the martens; but in its shape, and partially plantigrade feet, it so much resembles a small bear that many writers have placed it among the ursidoe. The head is rather pointed and bearlike, the eyes and ears very small, the body long and stout, the legs short and robust, the claws large and sharp, the soles covered for the most part with bristly hairs, and the tail short and bushy. The glutton of Europe ( G. luscus, Linn.) is about as large as a badger, of a deep brown, darkish on the back. The voracity of this animal, though great, has been much exaggerated. It is nocturnal, inhabits the coldest countries, as Russia and Siberia, and is active all winter.
The American glutton, called also wolverene and carcajou, seems to be a paler variety of the G. luscus; the color is dark brown above, passing into black; a pale band runs on each side from the shoulder around the flanks, uniting on the hips; tail with long bushy hairs. The inner fur is soft and short, the outer long and coarse, like that of the black bear; across the forehead, on each side of the neck, and between the legs, are patches and tufts of white hairs. The average length to root of tail is 2 3/4 ft., the tail from 10 to 12 in., and the height at shoulder about a foot; the width of the hind feet is nearly 5 in., so that their tracks in the snow are not unlike those of the bear. The wolverene is confined almost exclusively to the northern regions of the continent, being most abundant in the Rocky mountains near the arctic circle ; it is occasionally seen in northern New York, and in the west has been found as far south as Great Salt lake. The strength, agility, cunning, and voracity attributed to the glutton by the older writers are mostly fabulous; it is by no means ferocious, is slow and heavy in its motions, not rcmarkably voracious, neither strong nor agile enough to pounce upon and kill deer and other large game, and avoids entering water in pursuit of prey.
The wolverene generally hunts at night, spending the day in holes and caves; its food consists principally of mice, marmots, and other rodents, grouse and other birds which have plunged under the snow; there is no proof that it destroys the beaver, except occasionally; it may sometimes finish larger animals disabled by the hunter, by old age, or by accident, and when very hungry will eat carrion. It is notorious for following the traps of the hunter, and stealing therefrom both the bait and the captured animal, and for digging up and destroying caches of provisions. The wolverene is very suspicious, and rarely caught except in carefully concealed steel traps; it is very strong for its size, its weight being from 25 to 30 lbs. The young are produced once a year, two to four at a time. The fur of the wolverene is used for muffs and sleigh robes. The specific name luscus was given by Linnaeus to an American animal, which happened to have but one eye; should the European glutton be separated from the wolverene, it would be properly called G. borealis (Nilsson).
Glutton or Wolverene (Gulo luscus).