Honey badger

The honey badger (Mellivora capensis), also known as the ratel (/ˈreɪtəl/ or /ˈrɑːtəl/), is widely distributed in Africa, Southwest Asia, and in the Indian subcontinent. Because of its wide range and occurrence in a variety of habitats, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]

It is the only species in the mustelid subfamily Mellivorinae and its only genus Mellivora. Despite its name, the honey badger does not closely resemble other badger species; instead, it bears more anatomical similarities to weasels. It is primarily a carnivorous species and has few natural predators because of its thick skin and ferocious defensive abilities.

Notorious for their strength, ferocity, and toughness, honey badgers have been known to attack and repel almost any kind of animal when escape is impossible, even much larger predators like lions.[4] They are listed as the "world's most fearless animal" in the Guinness Book of World Records[5] due to their fearlessness.

Honey badger
Temporal range: middle Pliocene – Recent
Mellivora capensis in Howletts Wild Animal Park
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mellivorinae
J.E.Gray, 1865[2][3]
Genus: Mellivora
Storr, 1780
Species:
M. capensis
Binomial name
Mellivora capensis
(Schreber, 1776)
Mellivora capensis distribution
Distribution

Taxonomy

The honey badger is the only species of the genus Mellivora. Although in the 1860s it was assigned to the badger subfamily, the Melinae, it is now generally agreed that it bears very few similarities to the Melinae. It is much more closely related to the marten subfamily, Mustelinae, but furthermore is assigned its own subfamily, Mellivorinae.[6] Differences between Mellivorinae and Melinae include differences in their dentition formulae. Though not in the same subfamily as the wolverines, which are a genus of large-sized and atypical Mustelinae, the honey badger can be regarded as another, analogous, form of outsized weasel or polecat.

The species first appeared during the middle Pliocene in Asia. Its closest relation was the extinct genus Eomellivora, which is known from the upper Miocene, and evolved into several different species throughout the whole Pliocene in both the Old and New World.[7]

Subspecies

As of 2005, 12 subspecies are recognised.[8] Points taken into consideration in assigning different subspecies include size and the extent of whiteness or greyness on the back.[9]

Subspecies Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms
Cape ratel
Mellivora capensis capensis

Cape ratel

Schreber, 1776 South and southwestern Africa mellivorus (G. [Baron] Cuvier, 1798)

ratel (Sparrman, 1777)
typicus (A. Smith, 1833)
vernayi (Roberts, 1932)

Ethiopian ratel
Mellivora capensis abyssinica
Hollister, 1910 Ethiopia
Turkmenian ratel
Mellivora capensis buechneri
Baryshnikov, 2000 Similar to the subspecies indica and inaurita, but is distinguished by its larger size and narrower postorbital constriction[10] Turkmenistan
Lake Chad ratel
Mellivora capensis concisa
Thomas and Wroughton, 1907 The coat on the back consists largely of very long, pure white bristle-hairs amongst long, fine, black underfur. Its distinguishing feature from other subspecies is the lack of the usual white bristle-hairs in the lumbar area[11] Sahel and Sudan zones, as far as Somaliland brockmani (Wroughton and Cheesman, 1920)

buchanani (Thomas, 1925)

Black ratel
Mellivora capensis cottoni

Smit.Vellivora cottoni

Lydekker, 1906 The fur is typically entirely black, with thin and harsh hairs.[11] Ghana, northeastern Congo sagulata (Hollister, 1910)
Nepalese ratel
Mellivora capensis inaurita
Hodgson, 1836 Distinguished from indica by its longer, much woollier coat and having overgrown hair on its heels[12] Nepal and contiguous areas east of it
Indian ratel
Mellivora capensis indica

Indian ratel

Kerr, 1792 Distinguished from capensis by its smaller size, paler fur and having a less distinct lateral white band separating the upper white and lower black areas of the body[13] Western Middle Asia northward to the Ustyurt Plateau and eastward to Amu Darya. Outside the former Soviet Union, its range includes Afghanistan, Iran (except the southwestern part), western Pakistan and western India mellivorus (Bennett, 1830)

ratel (Horsfield, 1851)
ratelus (Fraser, 1862)

White-backed ratel
Mellivora capensis leuconota
Sclater, 1867 The entire upper side from the face to half-way along the tail is pure creamy white with little admixture of black hairs[11] West Africa, southern Morocco, former French Congo
Kenyan ratel
Mellivora capensis maxwelli
Thomas, 1923 Kenya
Arabian ratel
Mellivora capensis pumilio
Pocock, 1946 Hadhramaut, southern Arabia
Speckled ratel
Mellivora capensis signata
Pocock, 1909 Although its pelage is the normal dense white over the crown, this pale colour starts to thin out over the neck and shoulders, continuing to the rump where it fades into black. It possesses an extra lower molar on the left side of the jaw[11] Sierra Leone
Persian ratel
Mellivora capensis wilsoni
Cheesman, 1920 Southwestern Iran and Iraq

Description

MSU V2P1b - Mellivora capensis skull
Skull, as illustrated by N. N. Kondakov

The honey badger has a fairly long body, but is distinctly thick-set and broad across the back. Its skin is remarkably loose, and allows it to turn and twist freely within it.[14] The skin around the neck is 6 millimetres (0.24 in) thick, an adaptation to fighting conspecifics.[15] The head is small and flat, with a short muzzle. The eyes are small, and the ears are little more than ridges on the skin,[14] another possible adaptation to avoiding damage while fighting.[15]

The honey badger has short and sturdy legs, with five toes on each foot. The feet are armed with very strong claws, which are short on the hind legs and remarkably long on the forelimbs. It is a partially plantigrade animal whose soles are thickly padded and naked up to the wrists. The tail is short and is covered in long hairs, save for below the base.

Honey badgers are the largest terrestrial mustelids in Africa. Adults measure 23 to 28 cm (9.1 to 11.0 in) in shoulder height and 55–77 cm (22–30 in) in body length, with the tail adding another 12–30 cm (4.7–11.8 in). Females are smaller than males.[14][16] In Africa, males weigh 9 to 16 kg (20 to 35 lb) while females weigh 5 to 10 kg (11 to 22 lb) on average. The mean weight of adult honey badgers from different areas has been reported at anywhere between 6.4 to 12 kg (14 to 26 lb), with a median of roughly 9 kg (20 lb), per various studies. This positions it as the third largest known badger, after the European badger and hog badger, and fourth largest extant terrestrial mustelid after additionally the wolverine.[17][18][19][20][21] However, the average weight of three wild females from Iraq was reported as 18 kg (40 lb), about the typical size of the males from largest-bodied populations of wolverines or from male European badgers in late autumn, indicating that they can attain much larger than typical sizes in favorable conditions.[22][23] Skull length is 13.9–14.5 cm (5.5–5.7 in) in males and 13 cm (5.1 in) for females.[24][25]

There are two pairs of mammae.[26] The honey badger possesses an anal pouch which, unusual among mustelids, is eversible,[27] a trait shared with hyenas and mongooses. The smell of the pouch is reportedly "suffocating", and may assist in calming bees when raiding beehives.[28]

The skull bears little similarity to that of the European badger, and greatly resembles a larger version of that of a marbled polecat.[29] The skull is very solidly built, with that of adults having no trace of an independent bone structure. The braincase is broader than that of dogs.

Ratelteeth
Dentition

The dental formula is: 3.1.3.13.1.3.1. The teeth often display signs of irregular development, with some teeth being exceptionally small, set at unusual angles or absent altogether. Honey badgers of the subspecies signata have a second lower molar on the left side of their jaws, but not the right. Although it feeds predominantly on soft foods, the honey badger's cheek teeth are often extensively worn. The canine teeth are exceptionally short for carnivores.[30] The tongue has sharp, backward-pointing papillae which assist it in processing tough foods.[31]

The winter fur is long, (being 40–50 mm (1.6–2.0 in) long on the lower back), and consists of sparse, coarse, bristle-like hairs, with minimal underfur. Hairs are even sparser on the flanks, belly and groin. The summer fur is shorter (being only 15 mm (0.59 in) long on the back) and even sparser, with the belly being half bare. The sides of the head and lower body are pure black. A large white band covers the upper body, from the top of the head to the base of the tail.[32] Honey badgers of the cottoni subspecies are unique in being completely black.[11]

Behaviour

Honey badger, Mellivora capensis, carrying young pup in her mouth at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape, South Africa (34870371095)
Adult carrying a pup in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

Habits

Although mostly solitary, honey badgers may hunt together in pairs during the May breeding season.[31] Little is known of the honey badger's breeding habits. Its gestation period is thought to last six months, usually resulting in two cubs, which are born blind. They vocalise through plaintive whines. Its lifespan in the wild is unknown, though captive individuals have been known to live for approximately 24 years.[9]

Honey badgers live alone in self-dug holes. They are skilled diggers, able to dig tunnels into hard ground in 10 minutes. These burrows usually have only one passage and a nesting chamber and are usually only 1–3 m (3–10 ft) long. They do not place bedding into the nesting chamber.[33] Although they usually dig their own burrows, they may take over disused aardvark and warthog holes or termite mounds.[31]

Honey badgers are intelligent animals and are one of a few species known to be capable of using tools. In the 1997 documentary series Land of the Tiger, a honey badger in India was filmed making use of a tool; the animal rolled a log and stood on it to reach a kingfisher fledgling stuck up in the roots coming from the ceiling in a cave.[34] A video made at the Moholoholo rehab centre in South Africa showed a pair of honey badgers using sticks, a rake, heaps of mud and stones to escape from their walled pit.[35]

As with other mustelids of relatively large size, such as wolverines and badgers, honey badgers are notorious for their strength, ferocity and toughness. They have been known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any kind of animal when escape is impossible, reportedly even repelling much larger predators such as lions.[36] Bee stings, porcupine quills, and animal bites rarely penetrate their skin. If horses, cattle, or Cape buffalos intrude upon a ratel's burrow, it will attack them. They are virtually tireless in combat and can wear out much larger animals in physical confrontations.[30] The aversion of most predators toward hunting honey badgers has led to the suggestion that the countershaded coats of cheetah cubs evolved in imitation of the honey badger's colouration, which warns off predators.[37] In rare cases, some lions are persistent enough to have preyed on honey badgers.[38][39] Leopards are also occasionally mentioned as predators of honey badgers but, as far as is known, cases of successful predation on adult honey badgers is even rarer.[40][41]

The voice of the honey badger is a hoarse "khrya-ya-ya-ya" sound. When mating, males emit loud grunting sounds.[42] Cubs vocalise through plaintive whines.[9] When confronting dogs, honey badgers scream like bear cubs.[43]

Diet

Indian Honey Badger Drinking Water from natural stream
Indian ratel drinking from a natural stream

Next to the wolverine, the honey badger has the least specialised diet of the weasel family.[15] In undeveloped areas, honey badgers hunt at any time of the day, though they become nocturnal in places with high human populations. When hunting, they trot with their foretoes turned in. Honey badgers favour honey and often search for beehives to get it, which earns them their name. They are also carnivorous and eat insects, frogs, tortoises, turtles, lizards, rodents, snakes, birds and eggs. Honey badgers have even been known to chase away young lions and take their kills. They eat fruit and vegetables, such as berries, roots and bulbs.[31] Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that honeyguides guide the honey badger.[44][45]

They may hunt frogs and rodents, such as gerbils and ground squirrels, by digging them out of their burrows. Honey badgers are able to feed on tortoises without difficulty, due to their powerful jaws. They kill and eat snakes, even highly venomous or large ones, such as cobras. They have been known to dig up human corpses in India.[46] They devour all parts of their prey, including skin, hair, feathers, flesh and bones, holding their food down with their forepaws.[47] When seeking vegetable food, they lift stones or tear bark from trees.[31]

Distribution and habitat

The honey badger ranges through most of sub-Saharan Africa, from the Western Cape, South Africa, to southern Morocco and southwestern Algeria and outside Africa through Arabia, Iran and western Asia to Turkmenistan and the Indian Peninsula. It is known to range from sea level to as much as 2,600 m above sea level in the Moroccan High Atlas and 4,000 m in Ethiopia's Bale Mountains.[1]

In 2014 and 2015, it was recorded in Benin’s Pendjari National Park by camera-traps.[48]

Relationships with humans

Honey badgers often become serious poultry predators. Because of their strength and persistence, they are difficult to deter. They are known to rip thick planks from hen-houses or burrow underneath stone foundations. Surplus killing is common during these events, with one incident resulting in the death of 17 Muscovy ducks and 36 chickens.[31]

Because of the toughness and looseness of their skin, honey badgers are very difficult to kill with dogs. Their skin is hard to penetrate, and its looseness allows them to twist and turn on their attackers when held. The only safe grip on a honey badger is on the back of the neck. The skin is also tough enough to resist several machete blows. The only sure way of killing them quickly is through a blow to the skull with a club or a shot to the head with a gun, as their skin is almost impervious to arrows and spears.[49]

During the British occupation of Basra in 2007, rumours of "man-eating badgers" emerged from the local population, including allegations that these beasts were released by the British troops, something that the British categorically denied.[50][51] A British army spokesperson said that the badgers were "native to the region but rare in Iraq" and "are usually only dangerous to humans if provoked".[52] The director of Basra's veterinary hospital, Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, confirmed that honey badgers had been seen in the area as early as 1986. The deputy dean of Basra's veterinary college, Ghazi Yaqub Azzam, speculated that "the badgers were being driven towards the city because of flooding in marshland north of Basra."[51] The event received coverage in the Western press during the 2007 silly season.[53]

In many parts of North India, honey badgers are reported to have been living in the close vicinity of human dwellings, leading to many instances of attacks on poultry, small livestock animals and, sometimes, even children. They retaliate fiercely when attacked. According to a 1941 volume of The Fauna of British India, the honey badger has also been reported to dig up human corpses in that country.[54]

In Kenya, the honey badger is a major reservoir of rabies[55][56] and suspected to be a significant contributor to the sylvatic cycle of the disease.[57]

In popular culture

The 2011 YouTube viral video The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger[58] popularized the image of honey badgers as fearless and erratic, including the catchphrase Honey badger don't care. Spinoffs of the popular video include a book and mobile app.

A 2015 Disney Junior series, The Lion Guard, includes a honey badger.[59]

Honey badger is a frequently used nickname for professional athletes, primarily being used for an athlete that is known for being tough and fearless. Rugby player Nick Cummins and American football player Tyrann Mathieu are notable athletes who have received the nickname honey badger at some point in their careers.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Do Linh San, E., Begg, C., Begg, K. & Abramov, A.V. (2016). "Mellivora capensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN: e.T41629A4521010. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41629A45210107.en.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Gray, J.E. (1865). "Revision of the genera and species of Mustelidae contained in the British Museum". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 100–154. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1865.tb02315.x.
  3. ^ Steve Jackson. "Honey Badger..." Archived from the original on 14 December 2001. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  4. ^ "'World's Most Fearless Creature'—The Honey Badger". www.theepochtimes.com. 5 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Adopt a honey badger - Symbolic animal adoptions from WWF". gifts.worldwildlife.org.
  6. ^ Vanderhaar, Jana M. & Yeen Ten Hwang (30 July 2003). "MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 721, pp. 18, 3 figs. Mellivora capensis. Mellivora capensis" (PDF). Mammalian Species. doi:10.1644/0.721.1. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  7. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1209–1210
  8. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 612. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  9. ^ a b c Rosevear 1974, p. 123
  10. ^ Baryshnikov G. (2000). "A new subspecies of the honey badger Mellivora capensis from Central Asia". Acta theriologica 45(1): 45–55. abstract.
  11. ^ a b c d e Rosevear 1974, pp. 126–127
  12. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 462
  13. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 458
  14. ^ a b c Rosevear 1974, p. 113
  15. ^ a b c Kingdon 1989, p. 87
  16. ^ "Kingdon 1977. The Virtual Sett – The data". badgers.org.
  17. ^ Vanderhaar, J. M., & Hwang, Y. T. (2003). Mellivora capensis. Mammalian Species, 1-8.
  18. ^ Lenain, D., & Ostrowski, S. (1998). Opportunistic predation of trapped mammals by the ratel, Mellivora capensis wilsoni. Zoology in the Middle East, 16(1), 13-18.
  19. ^ Wroe, S., & Milne, N. (2007). Convergence and remarkably consistent constraint in the evolution of carnivore skull shape. Evolution, 61(5), 1251-1260.
  20. ^ Sheppey, K., & Bernard, R. T. F. (1984). Relative brain size in the mammalian carnivores of the Cape Province of South Africa. African Zoology, 19(4), 305-308.
  21. ^ Ahasan, S. A., Iqbal, M. S., & Shakif-Ul-Azam, M. (2010). Prevalence of parasitic infestations in captive wild carnivores at Dhaka Zoo. Magazine of Zoo Outreach Organisation, 25(6), 34.
  22. ^ Mohammed, A. H. S., Haider, S. K., & Salman, R. A. (2014). Morphological study of the lingual papillae in Mellivora capensis tongue. Journal of US-China Medical Science, 11(1), 42-46.
  23. ^ Kowalczyk, R., Jȩdrzejewska, B., & Zalewski, A. (2003). Annual and circadian activity patterns of badgers (Meles meles) in Białowieża Primeval Forest (eastern Poland) compared with other Palaearctic populations. Journal of Biogeography, 30(3), 463-472.
  24. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1216–1217
  25. ^ "Honey badger videos, photos and facts – Mellivora capensis". ARKive. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  26. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 456
  27. ^ For illustrations, see Ewer 1973, p. 98.
  28. ^ Kingdon 1989, p. 89
  29. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 1214
  30. ^ a b Rosevear 1974, pp. 114–16
  31. ^ a b c d e f Rosevear 1974, pp. 117–18
  32. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1213
  33. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1225
  34. ^ India Land of the Tiger பாகம் 4 – ஆங்கிலம். DailyMotion Retrieved on 2015-12-07. Archived 21 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "Honey Badger Houdini - Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem - Natural World - BBC Two: videos". BBC.
  36. ^ Hunter, Luke (2011). Carnivores of the World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15228-8
  37. ^ Eaton, R. L. 1976. "A possible case of mimicry in larger mammals". Evolution 30:853–856.]
  38. ^ Eloff, F. C. 1984. Food ecology of the Kalahari lion Panthera leo vernayi. Koedoe 27:249–258.
  39. ^ Palomares, F., & Caro, T. M. (1999). Interspecific killing among mammalian carnivores. The American Naturalist, 153(5), 492-508.
  40. ^ Braczkowski, A., Watson, L., Coulson, D., & Randall, R. (2012). Diet of leopards in the southern Cape, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology, 50(3), 377-380.
  41. ^ Hayward, M. W., Henschel, P., O'brien, J., Hofmeyr, M., Balme, G., & Kerley, G. I. H. (2006). Prey preferences of the leopard (Panthera pardus). Journal of Zoology, 270(2), 298-313.
  42. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1228
  43. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 465
  44. ^ Dean, W. R. J.; Siegfried, W. R.; MacDonald, I. A. W. (1990). "The Fallacy, Fact, and Fate of Guiding Behavior in the Greater Honeyguide". Conservation Biology. 4 (1): 99–101. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.1990.tb00272.x.
  45. ^ Yong, E. (2011). "Lies, damned lies, and honey badgers". Kalmbach. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  46. ^ Pocock 1941, p. 464
  47. ^ Rosevear 1974, p. 120
  48. ^ Sogbohossou, E., Aglissi, J. (2017). "Diversity of small carnivores in Pendjari biosphere reserve, Benin". Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 5 (6): 1429–1433. doi:10.22271/j.ento.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  49. ^ Rosevear 1974, p. 116
  50. ^ Philp, Catherine (2007-07-12), "Bombs, guns, gangs – now Basra falls prey to the monster badger", The Times
  51. ^ a b BBC News (2007-07-12) "British blamed for Basra badgers", BBC
  52. ^ Baker, Graeme (2007-07-13), ""British troops blamed for badger plague", The Telegraph
  53. ^ Weaver, Matthew (2007-07-12), "Basra badger rumour mill", The Guardian
  54. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1941). Fauna of British India: Mammals Volume 2. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 464.
  55. ^ Hans Kruuk (2002). Hunter and Hunted: Relationships between Carnivores and People. Cambridge University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-521-89109-7.
  56. ^ W.K.Chong, RABIES IN KENYA, Southern and Eastern African Rabies Group
  57. ^ Clive Alfred Spinage (2012). African Ecology: Benchmarks and Historical Perspectives. Springer. p. 1141. ISBN 978-3-642-22871-1.
  58. ^ A Chat With Randall: On Nasty Honey Badgers, Bernie Madoff And Fame. Forbes (2011-04-21). Retrieved on 2011-11-07.
  59. ^ ""Lion King spin-off The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar sneak peek - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com.

References

External links

AAC Honey Badger

The AAC Honey Badger is an integrally suppressed personal defense weapon based on the AR-15. It is chambered in .300 AAC Blackout and produced by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), a subsidiary of Remington Outdoor Company. The weapon is named after the honey badger.

Arabian Desert

The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness in Western Asia. It stretches from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. It occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of 2,330,000 square kilometers (900,000 sq mi). It is the fifth largest desert in the world, and the largest in Asia. At its center is the Rub'al-Khali, one of the largest continuous bodies of sand in the world.

Gazelles, oryx, sand cats, and spiny-tailed lizards are just some of the desert-adapted species that survive in this extreme environment, which features everything from red dunes to deadly quicksand. The climate is mostly dry (the major part receives around 100 mm of rain per year but some very rare places receives down to 50 mm), and temperatures oscillate between very high heat and seasonal night time freezes. It is part of the deserts and xeric shrublands biome and the Palearctic ecozone.

The Arabian desert ecoregion holds little biodiversity, although a few endemic plants grow here. Many species, such as the striped hyena, jackal and honey badger have become extirpated due to hunting, human encroachment and habitat destruction. Other species have been successfully re-introduced, such as the sand gazelle, and are protected at a number of reserves. Overgrazing by livestock, off-road driving, and human destruction of habitat are the main threats to this desert ecoregion.

Badger

Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the families Mustelidae (which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels, and wolverines), and Mephitidae (which also includes the skunks). They are not a natural taxonomic grouping, but are united by possession of a squat body adapted for fossorial activity. All belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals. The 11 species of mustelid badgers are grouped in four subfamilies: Melinae (4 species, including the European badger), Helictidinae (5 species of ferret-badger), Mellivorinae (the honey badger or ratel), and Taxideinae (the American badger); the respective genera are Arctonyx, Meles, Melogale, Mellivora and Taxidea. Badgers include the most basal mustelids; the American badger is the most basal of all, followed succesively by the ratel and Melinae. The two species of Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included within Melinae (and thus Mustelidae), but more recent genetic evidence indicates these are actually members of the skunk family.Badger mandibular condyles connect to long cavities in their skulls, which gives resistance to jaw dislocation and increases their bite grip strength. This in turn limits jaw movement to hinging open and shut, or sliding from side to side, but it does not hamper the twisting movement possible for the jaws of most mammals.

Badgers have rather short, wide bodies, with short legs for digging. They have elongated, weasel-like heads with small ears. Their tails vary in length depending on species; the stink badger has a very short tail, while the ferret badger's tail can be 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long, depending on age. They have black faces with distinctive white markings, grey bodies with a light-coloured stripe from head to tail, and dark legs with light-coloured underbellies. They grow to around 90 cm (35 in) in length including tail.

The European badger is one of the largest; the American badger, the hog badger, and the honey badger are generally a little smaller and lighter. Stink badgers are smaller still, and ferret badgers smallest of all. They weigh around 9–11 kg (20–24 lb), with some Eurasian badgers around 18 kg (40 lb).

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 square kilometres (20,400 sq mi) (larger than the Netherlands, and almost 10% of Botswana's total land area), making it the second largest game reserve in the world.The park contains wildlife such as South African giraffe, bush elephant, white rhino, cape buffalo, spotted hyena, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, warthog, South African cheetah, caracal, Cape wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, common eland, sable antelope, gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, impala, greater kudu, aardvark, cape ground squirrel, cape hare, cape porcupine, chacma baboon, red hartebeest and ostrich.

The land is mostly flat, and gently undulating covered with bush and grasses covering the sand dunes, and areas of larger trees. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with salt pans. Four fossilized rivers meander through the reserve including Deception Valley which began to form around 16,000 years ago.The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s the Botswana government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve, claiming they were a drain on financial resources despite revenues from tourism. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve, and in October 2005 the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. In 2006 a Botswana court proclaimed the eviction illegal and affirmed the Bushmen's right to return to living in the reserve. However, as of 2015 most Bushmen are blocked from access to their traditional lands in the reserve. A nationwide ban on hunting made it illegal for the Bushmen to practice their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, despite allowing private game ranches to provide hunting opportunities for tourists.In 2014 a diamond mine operated by Gem Diamonds opened in the southeast portion of the reserve. The company estimated that the mine could yield $4.9 billion worth of diamonds. The Rapaport Diamond Report, a diamond-industry pricing guide, stated, "Ghaghoo's launch was not without controversy [...] given its location on the ancestral land of the Bushmen".A huge bush fire in and around the park in the middle of September 2008 burnt around 80 percent of the reserve. The origin of the fire remains unknown.

Eomellivora

Eomellivora is an extinct genus of prehistoric mustelid closely related to the honey badger known from the Eurasia and North America, and tentatively Africa.

Eomellivora was long thought to contain only one species, E. wimani, with Wolsan and Semenov (1996) treating E. piveteaui as a younger subspecies of E. wimani. However, new remains of E. piveteaui described in 2015 allowed for recognition of E. piveteaui as distinct from E. wimani, but also treatment of E. ursogulo (Orlov, 1948) and E. hungarica Kretzoi, 1942 from the eastern Paratethys region. The placement of the African species Eomellivora tugenensis in Eomellivora is tentative.The genus Hadrictis Pia, 1939, described from a skull found in late Miocene deposits in Austria, is a synonym of Eomellivora.

Gottlieb Conrad Christian Storr

Gottlieb Conrad Christian Storr (June 16, 1749 in Stuttgart – February 27, 1821 in Tübingen) was a German physician, chemist and naturalist.

In 1768 he obtained his doctorate from the University of Tübingen, where from 1774 to 1801, he served as a professor of chemistry, botany and natural history. He is the taxonomic authority of the genus Mellivora, whose only species is the honey badger (Mellivora capensis).

List of fictional badgers

This is a list of fictional badgers. Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. The personality and behavior of the real badger has greatly informed the development of personality and characteristics of the badger character in fiction. Specifically, authors of fictional works employing badgers have often emphasized their natural reclusive privacy and their ferocity and courage when protecting themselves (this aspect drawing its origins from the early tradition of badger-baiting).The badger's role as a character in fiction can be traced back to the folklore of Europe and Asia where their nocturnal habits have given them an air of mystery. In Chinese and Japanese folklore, the badger character is a shapeshifter. In European folklore the badger character is intimately associated with the bear and is considered a forecaster of the arrival of spring. Older versions of these stories ascribed similar powers to the bear, but as bear populations dwindled, the folklore shifted to use the badger (in Germany and England), and the groundhog (in the United States). In England, the badger character has been adopted in many quarters as a mascot—an evolution from the historic practice of using the badger in heraldic design.Anthropomorphic badgers have frequently appeared in children's literature, although their personalities have never settled in one particular manner. Characters like Beatrix Potter's Tommy Brock represent the negative side of badgers and reflect the farmer's view of the real badger as a predator of small livestock. On the other hand, characters like Kenneth Grahame's gruff and ascetic Mr. Badger or Susan Varley's Badger (Badger's Parting Gifts) represent the positive side of badgers and reflect the real badgers' purposeful privacy in a way that allows authors to project human characteristics on them. Rural Economy and Land Use Programme fellow, Dr. Angela Cassidy, has noted that the literary figure of the "good badger" has become dominant since the early 20th century, but that more recently the figure of the "bad badger" (now a verminous character usually defined by stench and disease) has made a slight resurgence. Children's book critic, Amanda Craig, has also noted a modern trend away from any instances of the badger character in literature and has identified the lessening of interaction between humans and badgers in modern times as the underlying cause.In more recent years fictional badger characters have become increasingly abstract, with thoroughly human characteristics and only the appearance of the badger. Indeed, Dr. Cassidy has noted that since 1990, the tendency with badger characters has "accelerated into surrealism and comedy" with the most prominent example being the "Badger Badger Badger" meme arising online in 2003. Modern badger characters have shown up in numerous visual media including animation, commercials, live-action film, the internet, and in video games.

Mole snake

The mole snake (Pseudaspis cana) is a species of snake in the family Lamprophiidae. It is native to much of southern Africa, and is the only member of the genus Pseudaspis. A study showed that P. cana is caught and consumed by the honey badger, among other species. Remains of the mole snake were found in the faeces, and suggest the consumed individuals were larger specimens.

Nick Cummins

Nicholas Mark Cummins (born 5 October 1987) is a former Australian professional rugby union player living in Sydney. He played for the Western Force in Super Rugby and for Coca-Cola Red Sparks in the Japanese Top League. Cummins has represented Australia in international matches for both the Australian Sevens team and the Australian rugby team. His usual position is wing.Cummins answers to the nickname "The Honey Badger", bestowed on him after he drew inspiration from the fierce nature of the honey badger and attempted to think like the animal in defence. He is also well known for starring in the sixth season of The Bachelor Australia.

Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan is an alternative version of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine. This character is an aged Wolverine set in an alternate future universe designated Earth-807128, where the supervillains overthrew the superheroes. Introduced as a self-contained story arc within the Wolverine ongoing series by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, the character became popular with fans. After the Death of Wolverine, X-23 took the mantle of Wolverine, but Old Man Logan was brought in to serve as an X-Man and featured in his own ongoing series.

Operation Credible Sport

Operation Credible Sport was a joint project of the U.S. military in the second half of 1980 to prepare for a second rescue attempt of the hostages held in Iran. The concept included using a Lockheed C-130 Hercules airlifter modified with the addition of rocket engines to make it a very short take off and landing (STOL) aircraft, able to land on the field within a soccer stadium in Tehran. Operation Credible Sport was terminated when on 2 November, the Iranian parliament accepted an Algerian plan for release of the hostages, followed two days later by Ronald Reagan's election as the U.S. president.The concept of a large military transport STOL aircraft was carried forward in 1981–1982, with the follow-up Credible Sport II project. The project used one of the original Operation Credible Sport aircraft as the YMC-130 prototype for the MC-130H Combat Talon II.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is a Tanzanian national park in the Serengeti ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions. It is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile and honey badger.

Terri Schuester

Terri Schuester (née Del Monico) is a fictional character from the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. The character is portrayed by actress Jessalyn Gilsig, and has appeared in Glee from its pilot episode, first broadcast on May 19, 2009. Terri was developed by Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. She is introduced as the wife of glee club director Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison). Her storylines have seen her experience a false pregnancy, attempt to adopt the baby of pregnant glee club member Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), and become involved in a love triangle between herself, Will and school guidance counsellor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays).

Gilsig has characterized Terri as being emotionally still in high school, and lacking the skills to make her marriage work. She has explained that Terri feels threatened by her husband's commitment to the glee club, worried that it is pulling him away from her, and will stop at nothing to keep her marriage together. She does not know how long Terri will be featured in the series, as she was initially created simply as an obstacle to come between Will and Emma.

Terri has been poorly received by critics. The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan has called her "the worst thing about Glee", and the show's "one big flaw". Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly has described her as a "shrill, lying nag", whose main function is to bring the audience down. Gerrick Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times, however, has praised Gilsig's acting in the role, and stated that his hatred of the character dissipated once her fake pregnancy was exposed. He noted that: "Gilsig's superb acting isn't exactly doing anything to extinguish those flames", and while he still isn't "in full-on Team Terri uniform [...] she did at least have my attention on the sidelines, as opposed to filing my nails until halftime. Baby steps, right?"

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger is a YouTube viral video and Internet meme that first appeared on the Internet in January 2011. The video features commentary by a flamboyant, New York-accented narrator who is identified only as "Randall" that is dubbed over pre-existing Nat Geo Wild footage of honey badgers. Accompanying the narration is the Prelude from J. S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012.

Tyrann Mathieu

Tyrann Devine Mathieu (; born May 13, 1992) is an American football safety for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU). In college he developed a reputation for causing turnovers, setting a Southeastern Conference (SEC) record with 11 career forced fumbles and earning the nickname "Honey Badger". In his sophomore season, he was recognized as a consensus All-American, won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in college football, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football program after that season due to a violation of team rules.

After spending a year out of football in 2012, he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, reuniting him in the defensive backfield with former college teammate Patrick Peterson. As a rookie he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. In 2015, he was invited to the Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors. He has also played for the Houston Texans.

X-Men Red

X-Men Red was an ongoing comic book published monthly by Marvel Comics. It is written by Tom Taylor and illustrated by Mahmud A. Asrar. The first issue was released February 7, 2018, while the last (#11) was released December 13, 2018. The book followed a new team of X-Men led by Jean Grey following her return in Phoenix Resurrection.

Yusuf Nabi

Yusuf Nabi (1642 – 10 April 1712) was a Turkish Divan poet in the court of Mehmet IV. He was famous for "his brilliant lyrics filled with popular sayings and critiques of the age and verses commemorating innumerable important occasions."At the age of 24 Nabi left Şanlıurfa Province and came to Istanbul to study. Subsequently, around 1680, he settled in Aleppo (in modern Syria). But in 1704 when Baltacı Mehmet Pasha became the grand vizier, Nabi followed him to İstanbul where he lived for two years, before he was attacked by a wild honey badger and died of his wounds.

Zootopia

Zootopia (known as Zootropolis in some regions) is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated buddy cop comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 55th Disney animated feature film. It was directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, co-directed by Jared Bush, and stars the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J. K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira. It details the unlikely partnership between a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist, as they uncover a conspiracy involving the disappearance of savage predator inhabitants of a mammalian metropolis.

Zootopia premiered at the Brussels Animation Film Festival in Belgium on February 13, 2016, and went into general theatrical release in conventional 2D, Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats in the United States on March 4. Critics praised its screenplay, animation, voice acting, and subject matter. It opened to record-breaking box offices in several countries, and earned a worldwide gross of over $1 billion, making it the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2016, the 34th-highest-grossing film of all time, the fourth animated film to pass $1 billion in global box-office earnings, and Walt Disney Animation Studios' highest-grossing film since 2013's Frozen. The film earned numerous accolades; it was named one of the top ten best films of 2016 by the American Film Institute, and received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Movie Award, and Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as receiving a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.

Extant Carnivora species

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