The Honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is a mammal widely distributed in Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. 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, strength and ferocious defensive abilities.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
BlBlack And White Animals
Honey badgers have small eyes and large skulls. Their necks and shoulders are strong and muscular. Their hind feet are small, having short claws, whereas the front feet are, conversely, strong and wide, having large claws, which help badgers in catching prey and running. Being thick and loose, their skin is extremely difficult to seize for predators. Meanwhile, it allows badgers to extricate themselves and bite the opponent. Different subspecies of the Honey badger vary in color. However, as a general rule, these animals are dark black ventrally, having the characteristic dorsal mantle, which is typically grey or bright white, extending the whole length of its body and turning black at the base of the tail.
Honey badgers occur in Africa, southwestern Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. The area of their distribution covers most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from the Western Cape (South Africa) northwards, reaching southern Morocco and southwestern Algeria. In Asia, the badgers are found in Arabian Peninsula, Iran as well as western Asia, from Turkmenistan to the Indian Peninsula. These terrestrial mammals are found in different environments, from tropical and sub-tropical green and riparian forests to desert; from grassland to rocky hills; from open woodland to thorn forest and arid steppe.
Honey badgers are nocturnal animals but may sometimes be active during the day. They are solitary and typically have a large home range. In addition, they are nomadic, making daily foraging trips; male badgers can travel up to 27 km (16.7 mi) daily, whereas females tend to make shorter trips of about 10 km (3.2 mi) per day. After foraging, adult males often congregate to socialize, communicating with each other by grunts, sniffing one another as well as wallowing in the sand. However, Honey badgers are commonly known as aggressive animals, so these interactions between males occasionally grow into confrontations, when one of the males tries to enter another's burrow, they start their dominance dance with each one defending its right to the burrow. Also, when threatened, male badgers tend to aggressively protect their partners.
Honey badgers are generally carnivorous, consuming snakes, frogs, small species of rodents, birds, and eggs. They also supplement their diet with fruit, bulbs and roots.
Honey badgers have a polygynous mating system. Usually, adult males compete with each other for mating rights. Although these animals mate throughout the year, research, conducted in southern Africa, showed that the peak period of mating is between September and December. The gestation period lasts 50-70 days. There are typically one to two offspring per litter. The baby is born in a burrow, living there for the first 3 months of its life. Soon the young is weaned, usually being cared by its mother for 1-2 years. Males of this species become reproductively mature at 2-3 years old, whereas females - much earlier - at 12-16 months of age.
Honey badgers are hunted for their skin and claws, which are used in traditional medicine, and believed to convey the braveness and savagery of the animal to a human. In addition, the badgers are often trapped and poisoned both intentionally and unintentionally by farmers and apiculturists, who protect their property from predators.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Honey badger total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LCbut) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.
The Honey badger is an opportunistic predator. The animal has a rather diverse diet, hunting a wide variety of animals and thus keeping in check the populations of these species. In addition, older badgers are easy prey for larger local predators, including leopards, lions, and hyenas.