The Ratel: Honey Badger
Honeybadger, also known as Ratel, is the largest species of the mustelid family. Honeybadger looks more than a weasel than a badger; these species have a long body with small eyes and a large skull. The neck and shoulders are muscular, and legs have five toes on each front and back leg. The long and sharp claws help the animal to catch its prey and run fast. The whole body of a honey badger is covered with thick fur; from head to tail, the body is covered with broad whitish-grey stripes, and the rest of the body is either brown or black. The loose and thick skin allows badgers to turn when predators grab them
Honey Badger Facts (Interesting Facts About Honey Badger)
- Using their sharp claws, honey badger can dig a deep hole into a hard surface. They also have sharp teeth that can easily break a tortoiseshell.
- Honeybadger habitats in different environments, they can be found from tropical and sub-tropical green to riparian forest to deserts, from grassland to hills and from open woodlands to thorn forests.
- A male honey badger is known as ‘boars,’ a female honey badger is known as ‘sows.’
- These species are known to feed on honey, which gives their name ‘honey badgers.’
- These animals mate throughout the year, though the peak time of mating is September and December.
- After a gestation period of 50-70 days, the female will deliver one to two offspring. The young are born in a burrow and are weaned by mothers for 1 to 2 years.
- A young honey badger is called as ‘kits.’ Honeybadger is recorded as the most fearless animal in the Guinness books of records.
- Under the IUCN red list, the honey badger is listed as least concern.
- These species are hunted for their skin and claws, which is used for medicinal purposes.
Is a Wolverine a Badger?
No. Although honey badgers and wolverines belong to the Mustelidae family, They don’t resemble each other.
What Are Wolverines?
Wolverine is the largest mammal of the weasel family, which looks like a small bear. Wolverine is a mixture of a dog and bear, with short legs, long hair, and snout. These species have brownish-black fur with light stripes. Wolverines have poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell, they can smell prey 20 feet under the snow.
Wolverine Facts (Interesting Facts About Wolverines)
- The jaws and teeth of a wolverine are strong enough to crush a carcass; they have known to eat the bones and teeth of their prey.
- These species prefer to live in colder regions; they use the snow for dens and storing food.
- Wolverines also called skunk bears, stink bears, and quick hatch.
- When a wolverine takes a step, its paw expands twice to its original size; this makes it easier to walk on snow.
- Wolverines mate during May and August, a male will mate with several females.
- Female Wolverine will give birth to 2 to 3 young babies who are known as kits.
- According to the IUCN red list, these species are not endangered but are listed as least concern, the primary threat to these species is climatic changes.
Difference Between Badger and Wolverine:
|Scientific name-||Badger scientific name is Mellivora capensis.||Wolverine scientific name Gulo gulo.|
|Size comparison-||An adult honey badgers measures 9 to 11 inches in shoulder and 22 to 30 inches in body length.||Wolverine length ranges from 26 to 42 inches, where their tail adds another 7 to 10 inches.|
|Weight-||The average weight of a honey badger is 14 to 26 pounds.||Wolverines weighs 24 to 40 pounds.|
|Habitat-||Honeybadger habitat- The honey badgers are distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, western South Africa, southern Morocco, and southwest Algeria. In Asia, they can be found in the Arabian Peninsula, Indian peninsula, west Asia, and Iran.||Wolverine habitat- Wolverines are found in the northern and sub-arctic, grasslands, boreal forests, and alpine forests, tundra of Europe, Asia, and North America.|
|Predators-||Honeybadger predators- The main predators of a honey badger are lion, leopards, and hyenas.||Wolverine predators-|
Wolves, bears, and cougar are the predators of a wolverine.
|Diet-||Honey badgers are carnivorous who feed on small insects, frogs, rodents, snakes, lizards, birds, and eggs. Sometimes they also eat fruits, roots, and bulbs.||Wolverines are omnivorous, so they feed on both meat and vegetation. The diet of Wolverine includes moose, rodents, squirrels, and during summers, they eat different plants and berries.|
|Population-||Only 1,000 honey badgers left in the world.||It is believed that only 300 wolverines left in America.|
|Life span-||Honeybadger can live for eight years in the wild and 24 years in captivity.||The average life span of a wolverine is 5 to 17 years.|
Honey Badger vs Wolverine (Who Will Win?)
The honey badger is the fiercest animal as compared to a wolverine; the honey badger is also recorded as the most fearless animals by the Guinness record. Wolverines may be larger and heavier, but honey badger has more defensive techniques than a wolverine have. Honey badgers have thick skin, which can bear the sting of insects and bits of big cats, whereas wolverines have loose skin. There are more chances that a honey badger will win.
Honey badgers are also more aggressive and smart than a wolverine. Wolverines are known to fight with wolves, badgers, and cougars. On the other hand, honey badgers are known to take on lions, wild dogs, leopards, and hyenas.
If a badger and Wolverine have a fight, chances of badger are high to win, although both animals are strong and brave.
Also read interesting polar bear facts.