I've often wondered how each of the X-Men choose their nicknames, or in the case of Logan, how it is chosen for them. If you're going to stick with a codename forever, it has to be pretty good, right?
While James (Logan) Howlett's X-Men name "Wolverine" is pretty fitting for the adamantium-clawed mutant, Dr. Grey Matter has made a pretty compelling case on Tumblr that suggests perhaps another hairy animal name could have suited him better.
Dr. Grey Matter suggests that instead of taking his namesake from the Mustelidae family, this Tumblr post suggests it would make more sense for him to be named "Lynx."
I doubt that naming Wolverine after the most scientifically accurate animal equivalent wasn't the primary thing on the minds of the creatives at Marvel, but for the sake of animal knowledge, it might be interesting to some to know how much more in common Wolverine has with a lynx than an actual wolverine.
First and foremost, this is a wolverine...
This is Wolverine...
And this is a Lynx!
Which of these two animals looks more like Logan? I think we're already off to a great start.
Things are getting hairy
From physical characteristics alone, it's pretty obvious that Logan got inspiration for his hair from the lynx's pointy ears.
And it's not just the pointed head hair we're talking about. Take a look at Wolverine's facial hair.
They look pretty similar to the lynx's furry mutton chops. At least much more so than it does to a wolverine's mutton chopless face.
Okay, still kind of in the physical realm here and this one is a bit of a stretch, but we need to talk about the size of a wolverine versus a lynx. Any fan of the X-Men comics knows that Wolverine is one of Marvel's shortest character. He's buff as hell, but Sabretooth calls him "runt" for a reason.
When it comes to the animal family of the wolverine, the Mustelidae family, wolverines are one of the bigger of the bunch! Much less the runt of this pack.
But if we look at the lynx, it is actually smaller than their wild, non-domestic cat brethren in the Felidae family.
All about the claws
Probably the most compelling of Dr. Grey Matter's arguments comes down to Wolverine's most famous weapon, his claws. Since it wouldn't really be practical to have Logan walking around all the time with his claws out (imagine all the things he wouldn't be able to do!), he spends most of his time with them retracted.
You know what doesn't have retractable claws? You guessed it! A wolverine. They just kinda dangle out there in the open.
But do you know who does have them? Bingo! The lynx! Not a claw to be seen! Totally retractable, just like Logan's.
In the end, it doesn't really matter. Wolverine is a badass and beloved mutant no matter his name. Plus, could you really see Hugh Jackman being called "Lynx" and still be able to take him seriously? No amount of muscle or retractable adamantium claws would keep me from thinking, Wow, that's a pretty adorable name for such a ripped dude.
Although Dr. Grey Matter makes an excellent argument and many valid points, I'm happy sticking with Wolverine!
(Source: Dr. Grey Matter, Tumblr)