Badgers are small creatures who are spread all over the world covering almost all the continents. Each species of this Eurasian animal show unique characteristics.The black and white fur coated animal is nocturnal in nature, that is they are active during the night. They have a short but wide body accompanied by small legs. Badgers spend most of the day staying underground in their burrows or dens. The four subfamilies of the Mustelidae family of badger are Melinae, Helictidinae, Mellivorinae, and Taxideinae. Each subfamily has a representative species of its own and they are European badger or hog badger, ferret-badger species, honey badger, and American badger respectively. The European giant badger is the largest species. However, the subfamilies of badgers do not always maintain taxonomical ordering. The badger is commonly found in most parts of North America and Europe including Great Britain and Ireland and extends to the southern Scandinavian nations. In Asia, they are available even in the extreme eastern border countries like Japan and China. One thing that is common in all badger habitat is that they live underground by digging extensive burrows with their claws. If you are interested to know more about a badger then here are some interesting badger animal facts.
Tropical forests, terai grasslands, deciduous woodland, deserts, and mid-range mountains
America, Europe, Asia, Africa
Hog Badger- Arctonyx collaris Honey Badger-Mellivora capensis European Badger- Meles meles American Badger- Taxidea taxus
Hog Badger-Arctonyx Honey Badger- Mellivora Ferret Badger- Melogale European Badger- Meles American Badger- Taxidea
Badger Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a badger?
Badgers are short-legged mammals that are omnivorous in nature. The family of badgers has many subfamilies under them out of which some species are grouped together based on just similar characteristics and not any ancestral history.
What class of animal does a badger belong to?
A badger belongs to the class mammal or Mammalia.
How many badgers are there in the world?
The badger is found in various places throughout the world and their population varies from one place to another. The population of these Eurasian animals is inconsistent within each subfamily of their species. While the population of some species is under threat, other species do not face any danger of recent extinction. In 1997, 42000 social groups of badgers were spotted which contained 200000 adult badgers of all species. This number of badger species increased to 310000 under 50000 social groups and the population is considered to be stable more or less. In Europe, 485000 animals of the species are found but the southeast Asian countries like China and Myanmar have seen a steep decline in the badger population.
Where does a badger live?
The badger is a widespread animal. From America in the west to the extreme eastern parts of Asia, these Eurasian mammals are found everywhere. The hog badgers are common in South Asian countries like India, Thailand, and Bangladesh while honey badger is found in Saharan Africa like in some parts of Algeria, Morocco, and South Africa. They even extend to Arabia, western Asia, and Iran. The European badger is limited to most of the European countries ranging from France, Austria, Germany in the south to Serbia, Russia, and Sweden in the north, covering most of the continent. In Asia, they have spread in the countries like Israel, Iraq, and Iran. Likewise, the kind of badger found in America is the American badgers (Taxidea taxus) and their localities include almost every place like California, Arizona, Ontario, and Sonoma County. The ferret badger has its species named after the places they are found and those are mostly the southeastern Asian countries like China, Borneo, Java, Burma, and Vietnam.
What is a badger's habitat?
The habitat of different badgers is different according to the environment in which they live. The favorable place for a hog badger is the tropical evergreen forests and Terai grasslands of the South-East Asian Countries. The honey badger is commonly found in sub-Saharan plains ranging from sea level areas to medium elevated mountain regions. The European badgers inhabit the mixed and deciduous woodlands as well as the maquis shrubland of the Mediterranean region. There they live in the suburban areas and also in some mountainous areas.American badgers cover a vast extent of habitation ranging from open grasslands to forest marshes and meadows, dry sandy deserts, and mountain meadows. Likewise, the ferret badgers also cover an extensive area ranging from tropical rain forests to evergreen forests and as well as hilly areas in the Island country of Indonesia.
Who do badgers live with?
Some badgers live in complex, strong social clans and these clans are called cetes. Other animals live in solitary moving from place to place and digging new underground burrows for them to stay. A group of Eurasian badgers can contain up to 15 badgers starting from two. While staying in a group, not communicating with the clanmates is natural in the cetes. It is not necessary for the clan members to hunt together. They forage for their own food unlike other groups of animals.
How long does a badger live?
The average lifespan including all the species of badgers is 10-25 years. However, the lifespan is different for different species. For example, a hog badger in captivity can live up to 14 years but a honey badger has a long lifespan of 24 years. Their lifespan in the wild still remains unrecorded. Similarly, a ferret badger, whose wild lifespan is unknown, can live up to 10 years in captivity. In the wild, a European badger has a lifespan of about 15 years and that of American badgers is 9-10 years. In captivity, American badgers (Taxidea taxus) can stay alive till 15 years old.
How do they reproduce?
Male badgers or boars generally mate with a single partner for life. This makes them monogamous creatures. The female species or the sows might have more than one partner. Mating lasts for about 15-16 mins between these species. The mating season of badgers starts from early fall and lasts till the summer. The gestation period in badgers lasts for about six to seven weeks. The average litter size of all species of badgers varies between one to five.
What is their conservation status?
The conservation status of badgers differs as the population among the different badger species differs. Since badgers are found in such abundance everywhere, most of the badger groups fall under the category of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.
Badger Fun Facts
What do badgers look like?
The general appearance of the bodies of all kinds of badgers is the same. They have short and round bodies. The short legs with sharp claws help in digging burrows in which they stay. A badger has an elongated head and the badger skull is weasel shaped. The tail length varies according to the species. The tail size of a hog badger and a honey badger is more or less similar to each other. European badgers have a smaller tail size while the species of ferret badger can have the longest tail size among all. A badger is covered with gray fur all over its body with a white stripe running from the face to the tail. The face is black in color and has distinct white marks on it. European badgers are the largest species of badgers. The American badger, honey badgers, and hog badgers come next in terms of size who are a little smaller and their fur appears a little lighter. The ferret badgers are the smallest badger of all.
How cute are they?
Badgers have a small head followed by an elongated body. At a glance, these creatures might not appear cute. Their nature is also rough and unfriendly. Hence, they do not find much appreciation as animals.
How do they communicate?
There is not much information about the communication methods utilized by badgers. However, it is assumed most of the communication is done by their strong hearing and scent detection processes. They are nocturnal, that is, they sleep during the day and are active at night, so they do not have a strong vision. Adult badgers also bark to warn other badgers and their sensitive claws make them aware.
How big is a badger?
The average length of all the species of badgers varies between 16-35 in (40-90 cm). European badgers are the largest badgers in the world while the ferret is the smallest one. The size of a European badger is almost two times of a ferret badger.
How fast can a badger run?
Badgers move by the process of galloping for a short span of time. Their running or galloping speed ranges from 16-19 mph (25–30 kmph).
How much does a badger weigh?
Full-grown adult badgers will weigh around 9–24 lb (4–11 kg).
What are their male and female names of the species?
Irrespective of the differences in these Eurasian species, male badgers are known as boars and female badgers are called sows all over the world.
What would you call a baby badger?
A baby or a little badger of all species is called a cub.
What do they eat?
Badgers are omnivorous species. The badger diet includes both animal food as well as plant food. Badgers are natural predators and small mammals like hedgehogs, rabbits, rats form constitute the main part of their diet. They also eat food available from plants like acorns, seeds, nuts as well as crops namely sweetcorn and wheat.
Are they dangerous?
Attacks on people by badgers are rare but on the rarest of occasions, they might occur. Badgers are wild and aggressive creatures and they have a destructive temperament. However, these creatures generally do not cause any harm until and unless they are annoyed.
Would they make a good pet?
Badgers are not meant to be made pets by people. They are terrible at being pets since it is not possible to tame a badger or care for them. As they cannot see during the day, human activities might scare them unknowingly and they can turn aggressive resulting in severe bites and scratches.
Did you know...
The LA police department has its mascot as a blue badger.
Are badgers blind?
Badgers are not blind but they are nocturnal in nature so their eyesight is quite poor. During the day badgers prefer to stay or sleep in their dens known as setts. For this reason, badgers are not very common to the human sight.
Can a badger kill a dog?
Badgers are mostly unavailable during the day and tend to sleep in their dens. So their chances of coming in contact with a dog are low. However, even if badgers face a dog, they try to avoid them. If, however, they feel harassed by a dog and face attacks, they turn aggressive and will attack the dog in return.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including weasel, or ferret.
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