Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/833

This page has been validated.

correct, and this chimerical "child of the devil" becomes a respectable member of the weasel family and its largest terrestrial representative, known now to scientists as Gulo luscus, and popularly as the "wolverene" or "glutton".

If the wolverene does not hibernate, but spends his winter searching the woods for mere sustenance, the musteline propensity for blood is, no doubt, the impulse which makes it the great destroyer. Who has caught the weasel sleeping? Trappers say the martens run all day as well as all night; and these traits are

PSM V44 D833 The quickhatch or wolverine.jpg
The Quickhatch, or Wolverene.

quite pronounced in the glutton, while, also, the well-known strength, pluck, and endurance of the weasels belong naturally to it.

The early name of "beaver eater" would therefore appear to be much more appropriate than either of the terms now generally used, for it has been shown that "glutton" is quite a misnomer, and the other synonym, equally incorrect, has the additional disadvantage of uncertain orthography—each of the following forms being countenanced by good authority: wolferin, wolferine, wolferene, wolvering, wolverin, wolverine, wolveren, wolverene, wolverenne, and woolverene.