It’s Michigan Week!

On Saturday, Ohio State will play Michigan in the annual renewal of the greatest rivalry in sports.  Each year, Michigan Week is a much-anticipated time, when every member of Buckeye Nation focuses anew on The Game.

But here at Webner House, we are also about education.  And today, we’re interested in learning about Michigan’s mascot, the Wolverine.  It looks like a deranged skunk, and it’s a member of the weasel family.  So far, it seems like an appropriate mascot for Michigan, all right.  But what about other attributes of the animal?  Specifically, does a Wolverine have any kind of special odor?

Imagine our surprise when we learned that, according to, the wolverine is one of the seven smelliest creatures in the world — right there between the bombardier beetle, which shoots a stinky combination of liquid and gas from its rear end, and the musk ox, which has exceptionally smelly urine.  The website explains about wolverines: “They’re seldom seen by humans, but they’re frequently smelled. Like most members of the weasel family, the wolverine has glands that it secretes fluid from to mark its territory. The musky scent is supposed to be very unpleasant, and has given the wolverine the colourful nicknames of ‘skunk bear’ and ‘nasty cat’.”

It’s official — even environmentalists think the Wolverines stink!

Wolverines In Decline

The BBC reports that studies have indicated that populations of wolverines in North America are declining.  Wolverines are the largest members of the weasel family, live in remote northern areas, and eat the remains of large animals and smaller animals, like rats, that the wolverines hunt themselves.

The scientists quoted in the article link the decline in the wolverine population to diminished snowpacks in the wolverines’ natural habitats, which they surmise would reduce the food supply for wolverines.  The scientists apparently didn’t address the possibility that the carrion-consuming, rat-eating wolverines are dying of embarrassment because they are the unfortunate mascots of the recently underachieving University of Michigan sports teams.