An amazing beast dwells in Africa and Asia, at first sight attracting attention with its appearance. It will seem to someone that he is a terrible dandy who has made a dyeing of wool for himself, and someone will think that he has thrown a light blanket over his back, which contrasts nicely with his dark fur.
This “fashionable” animal is called “honey badger” or “bald badger”. We present you interesting facts about this wonderful little animal.
These honey badger badgers have a powerful body with short paws and a tail. Their weight can reach 13 kg, and the length - 80 cm. The head of bald badgers is wide, the nose is sharp, the eyes are small, and there are no ears! On the front paws are very sharp and large claws, which greatly help the animals in hunting and digging holes.
There are honey badgers in all regions of Africa and Asia, with the exception of very hot and humid areas.
These are nocturnal animals hiding from the heat in their burrows during the day. They are able to dig very deep holes (up to three meters) that line the soft grass and sleep in them. Surprisingly, honey badgers almost never spend the night two nights in a row in the same hole - the animals have several "dwellings" at once. Honey badgers are loners, gathering in groups quite rarely. Each animal has its own territory, the boundaries of which marks a stinking secret.
From the name it is clear that these animals are great lovers to indulge in honey, for which they can climb on tall trees. Honey badgers are looking for honey along with one bird - a great mead. From the name it is clear that this bird from the height of flight finds bee nests and starts screaming. The honey badger has resorted to this signal, claws destroy the home of bees and eat honey, and the honey marker pecks up the larvae of bees. Everyone is happy, except for the bees, of course! They also like to indulge in fruits and roots.
But honey badgers are predators, so their main food is rodents, children of foxes, antelopes, birds, eggs, crocodiles, frogs, scorpions, insects and snakes. Interesting, but the honey badger is able to cope even with a large turtle, "dressed" in a strong shell!
Bald badgers are very aggressive and bold, so they have almost no enemies. They have very thick skin that snakes and predators do not take their teeth, and sharp claws and teeth are also good protection. If the honey badger smells a threat, they attack first, even if the enemy exceeds their size and weight. There are many cases when they managed to get rid of buffaloes, lions and other dangerous animals from their paths.
Honey badger for a meal
The honey badgers attack snakes, among which are poisonous ones. And here something happens that scientists still cannot explain. If the animal is bitten by a poisonous snake, it starts to have convulsions and the like of death, but it takes several tens of minutes, and the honey badger, as if nothing had happened, gets up and runs about his business.
The honey badger has another "weapon" - the stench, which they emit in case of danger.
Honey badger - smart beasts. In the dry season, near the dry rivers, they dig holes, which are subsequently filled with water and serve as a watering place for the honey badger and for other animals.
A female honey badger bears up to four young, which live with their mother for about a year. The male does not take part in raising the young. The life of these animals is about thirty years.
There are not many bald badgers in nature, unfortunately, man also contributes to the reduction of their population. Locals do not like that honey badgers ruin the hive and steal chickens in chicken coops, so they are caught with traps and killed.
In recent years, the honey badger is very popular.
What does a honey badger look like
Outwardly, the honey badger resembles two of his closest relatives — the same big badger and wolverine. The body length of an adult honey badger is about 77 cm without tail, the weight reaches 7-13 kg, the males are more massive.
The body of predators is dense and stocky, legs are strong and relatively short. The front paws are armed with sharp claws, about 4–5 cm long, well adapted for butchering and digging deep holes. Between the fingers grow leathery membranes, bare paw pads. The tail of predators is short, no longer than 25 cm.
Unlike the short badger, the honey badger has a well-defined transition from neck to head. The skull is large, the muzzle is wide, tapering wedge to a dull nose. The powerful jaws of the beast hide large, sharp teeth. The eyes are small, dark, the ears are greatly reduced and almost imperceptible.
The body of the honey badger is covered with stiff, short hair. Most individuals have a contrasting black and white color with a clear border of colors. The upper part of the head, back and tail are greyish-white. The muzzle, limbs, sides and belly are black. Absolutely black honey badgers are found in the jungles of the Congo and some selected areas of the African continent.
The honey badge’s vocal repertoire includes a wide range of various sounds: hissing, grunting, growling, wheezing and giggling.
The honey badger looks somewhat awkward, but his thick dense skin, sharp claws and teeth are excellent evolutionary devices for survival in a vast area populated by many dangerous predators.
Muzzle honey badger. Photo back honey badger. A honey badger has more claws on its front paws than on its hind legs. The honey badger checks the camera for durability, huge claws are visible.
Where do the honey badgers live?
Honey badgers are inhabitants of an exceptionally hot climate, in Africa animals are spread almost everywhere. In Asia, animals are found on the Arabian Peninsula, in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Nepal.
Animals avoid arid and humid regions, therefore they are rarely found in tropical forests and deserts. The honey badgers prefer to settle in the forest-steppe and on the grassy plains, in the mountains they rise to a height of up to 3 thousand meters above sea level.
The area of the honey badger in Africa and Asia.
Typical members of the Mustelidae family, honey badgers are loners, and couples are created only in the mating season. According to research, the area of the individual part of the female is about 140 km 2. The personal territories of the males are usually larger and reach 638 km 2 and can intersect with the possessions of several females. The boundaries of the site animals do not mark, but notify competitors of their presence, highlighting the fragrant secret of anal glands.
Honey badgers are twilight predators, however, in bad weather or in places untouched by human activity, it is often found during the day. The honey badgers are resting in independently dug burrows up to 3 m deep, which end in a cozy closet with soft bedding. Sometimes predators use the empty burrows of other animals - a porcupine, gerbil, or corsac.
Each honey badger has several rookeries on his site, and daily covering long distances in search of food rarely sleeps in one hole for 2 days in a row.
By his fearlessness and aggression, the honey badger is remarkably similar to the same unusual representative of the mustellae, the wolverine. A honey badger, frightened or caught by surprise, can even fight back a lion, not to mention the fact that it attacks the buffaloes and cows, which are many times greater than it. And only in the case of a deadly threat, the honey badger emits a fetid spirit, fluffs the tail and flees, going on a hopping gallop.
Honey badger is resting on the sand. Honey badger in search of prey.
What does the honey badger eat
Despite their passion for honey, honey badgers are typical predators, agile and merciless, whose diet is predominantly animal food. Honey badgers hunt mainly on the ground, but they climb up trees perfectly, extracting honey and bird eggs.
Honey badgers are omnivores, so they are equally happy to hunt rodents, lizards, scorpions, insects, eat birds and their eggs. The predator can attack a young fox or antelope and even a small crocodile.
The honey badger digs gophers, hedgehogs and hibernating turtles out of the ground. Possessing an excellent sense of smell, the animal smells prey from the surface and, in an effort to get there, rather quickly digs a tunnel, up to 2 m long.
Do not disdain honey badgers carrion, and from vegetable food rarely use rhizomes of plants, sweet fruits and berries.
The predator avoids human dwellings, but if it turns out to be in close proximity, it is not shy to climb into the hen house and abduct the poultry.
The honey badger boldly attacks the lions if they threaten him. Photo of a honey badger at the zoo. The honey badger found some kind of rag or bag.
Honey badger and poisonous snakes
Among other reptiles, the honey badgers devour the most venomous snakes, such as the cobra, without any fear. The reaction of animals to snake venom has not yet been fully studied. It is known for certain that after a snake bite, the honey badger, as it should be, writhes in convulsions and drops dead.
After 20-40 minutes, the "dead" beast suddenly comes to its senses and, as if nothing had happened, goes about its business.
Honey, honey badger and medookazchik
The honey book lives in hot countries - a small bird from the order of woodpecker. According to the statements of the aborigines and some observers, the honey marker finds a nest of bees and attracts the attention of the honey badger, fluttering in front of a beast with a fluffed tail. Then it flies ahead and so that the honey badger does not lag behind, sits down on the branches of the trees.
In such an uncomplicated way, the honey marker leads the honey badger to the bee's nest. The predator fumigates the bees with a foul-smelling secret and calmly eats honey.
There is no scientific confirmation of a direct link between the honey book and the honey badger. Meadows are strange birds whose attention attracts everything unusual and they can equally lead the animal to a beehive and a leopard's den.
Honey badgers are polygamous animals, mating only during the rut and the male leaves the female immediately after mating. Like most mustelids, the period from mating to childbirth in a female honey badger is from 5 to 6 months. This is due to the delayed implantation of the embryo, the actual pregnancy lasts no more than 65 days.
Births occur in one of the holes, on a bed of dry grass. A 2-4 naked, helpless puppy is born, which the mother feeds with milk. Probably for security reasons, the female periodically drags offspring to another lair.
32-35 days after birth, the puppies see their sight, and at the age of 3 months they come to the surface with their mother. When the puppies are strong enough for long hikes, the family begins to wander within the maternal area. Cubs stay with their mother for up to a year, and sometimes longer, young males often form their bachelor groups of 4-5 individuals.
In captivity, exotic animals live for about 26 years, in nature, their life expectancy has not been established. According to the claims of the owners of the honey badger, these animals are easily tamed and are distinguished by a accommodating, cheerful disposition.
Female honey badger with a puppy. Female honey badger with a puppy.
Honey badger and man
Local people consider honey badgers to be pests that harm livestock, steal poultry and destroy beehives. Poisoned baits and traps led to a reduction in the number of honey-eaters in certain parts of the range, mainly in South Africa. Nevertheless, thanks to the vast distribution zone today, these amazing animals are quite numerous and the state of the population does not cause scientists fear.
Distribution and habitat
The honey badger is an animal that is common in Africa (from south to north, approximately to Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia), in Palestine, in Syria, on the Arabian Peninsula, in Afghanistan, Iraq, India and in the deserts of Turkmenistan. They can also be found in the south of Kazakhstan and Karakalpakia.
Their habitat is the most diverse: deserts with compacted soils, river valleys and foothills. Especially they prefer places where there is an opportunity to hide (not flat reliefs). The favorite parts of their habitat are winding ravines and precipices with sandy or loamy soils.
The worst beast in the world is the badger-honey badger. Not a joke!
The most terrible beast in the world is the badger-honey badger. And it's not a joke. He heads the rating of scumbag beasts. If you type “badger-honey badger” in Youtube, you will immediately pop up: “Two honey badgers against 6 lions”, “honey badger against leopard and hyena” and stuff like that.
The badger-honey badger is practically an immortal animal, so he is not afraid of anyone. He has a very thick skin, which can not bite through any fangs, while he can rotate in all directions inside this skin. She lives almost independently of him, like a fur coat on a person.
He easily ruins bee's nests, while the bees can not bite him. Moreover, he is very fond of snakes. Sometimes they bite him. In this case, he falls dead and can so fail about half an hour. During this time, his body digests the poison and it comes to life.
Since no one can defeat him, he doesn’t see any "borders", respectively, attacks everything that moves and what can be eaten, even if the prey is much larger than it, such as a huge python.
We stood in a tent camp in Namibia, in a national park, when two such honey badgers came to our camp. Everyone was scared. No one got in their way. They went over from the camp to the camp, climbed on the tables, swept away everything that was on them and moved on.
At the end of the camp, they approached garbage cans, which were high and had a lid on. The honey badgers began to jump at him from the side and eventually dumped the box on the ground, after which they dug the lid and examined its contents.
None of us did not dare to prevent him. All silently contemplated ...
P.S. List of my nearest trips to which you can join:
30.09 - 09.10 Azores. Whales.
20.10 - 08.11 Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
15.11 - 28.11 Madagascar
January 7 - January 18, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana.
Jan. 19 - Jan 25, Ethiopia
True friend - medoukazchik
An interesting fact is the “mutually beneficial cooperation” of a predator with a small bird - a honey loudspeaker, which detects bee nests and sends a conditional whistling signal to the rider to climb and destroy them. The bird flies from branch to branch, and gourmet goes on the ground, following it. It turns out that the secret is that the honey reader loves the larvae of bees, which they cannot get on their own. It is then that the brave honey badger comes to the rescue, whose interests coincide with the interests of the cunning bird.
The marriage period of honey badgers and care for offspring
A honey badger is an animal described above, it meets with individuals of the opposite sex only during the mating season, and after that it goes back to its site, where the rest of the year leads its usual solitary lifestyle. It takes about six months for the female to bear the cubs. Usually, 1-3 puppies are born, which are the first 14 days of life in a deep hole. The mother takes care of the offspring and does not leave the babies until they reach one year old.
The honey badger is an animal selflessly protecting its young. A female, fighting for its life and the safety of puppies, can bravely pounce on such a large predator, like a lion. There are no other serious enemies of the ratel, and the animal itself can inflict severe damage with sharp teeth and claws to the animal that attacked first.
Honey badger pest
One animal honey badger inhabits a fairly extensive range, so it is not so easy to meet him. People perceive a bald badger as a malicious pest, since it often cuts livestock, ruins chicken coops, and destroys bee nests. In villages, traps for honey badgers and poison baits are trapped, which in some regions, in particular South Africa, has led to a reduction in the population of this predator, although the honey badger is not in danger of extinction.
In general, today the lifestyle of a bald badger in nature has not been studied very well. There is not even exact information about the life span of a mammal. It is known that in the conditions of the zoo honey badger can live 25 years.
Honey badger (animal): description
The animal has an unusual coat color with a clearly defined border along the middle of the body. The main color is dark brown with some metallic sheen, but on the upper part of the body and on the head the fur is painted in a gray-white color, and this light pattern from the back reaches the sides and goes down almost to the belly. The tip of the tail is black.
At first glance, this is a very funny, defenseless and sweet creature. In fact, it is very clever, quick and cruel to the liking. Because of this, it is known as one of the most courageous and ferocious animals.
Honey badgers boldly rush on dangerous and large prey. It is a daring predator, usually living alone. The only exceptions are mothers and calves living together until a large honey badger grows out of them.
The bald badger animal looks like a honey badger. His muscular torso is elongated, and his paws are thick and short. On the front legs there are long (4-5 cm) curved claws. There are small membranes between the fingers and bare pads on the sole. The length of its body is about 80 centimeters, tail - 25 cm. The weight of males is on average 12 kilograms, and females - 9 kg.
The head of the animal is stupid, large, and the ears are reduced. Под толстой кожей располагаются большие запасы жира. Кожица, хоть и толстая, но свободная, что позволяет животному легко скручивать свое тело, чтобы ухватиться за напавшего на него врага.
При беге медоед издает хрипящие громкие звуки. Живут они около 24 лет.
Это агрессивный и вспыльчивый хищник, всегда готовый сразиться с любым врагом. Медоед – животное (как отмечалось выше), имеющее толстую кожу. Because of this, it can freely regale its beloved honey, without fear of bee stings.
These predators even dare to attack venomous snakes. It should be noted one interesting fact. Having received a snakebite, the honey badger freezes after a fall, as if dead, but after a while he jumps onto his paws and is carried away from his rival.
The enemies of this animal are dogs and wolves, competitors - foxes, corsacs, caracals, birds of prey and desert crows. It turns out that the honey badger is an animal that is still vulnerable in some places.
During periods of breeding and subsequent feeding of the pups, these animals can be met in groups (up to about 5 individuals), hunting together. As a rule, this is a mother with offspring, although very rarely were groups of males being noted.
The breeding season of African honey badgers can take place in different months, and in Turkmen - in the fall. Usually, one female gives birth to an average of 1-2 (very rarely 4) of completely helpless blind completely naked cubs. Eyes open at them in 32-35 days. The babies start to get out of the hole 3 months after birth, and they stay with their mother until they reach the age of one.
Toddlers grow quickly, sometimes a male cub grows larger than its mother by the time it is time to leave the parental home. Up to this point, the female moves from the burrow to the burrow every 2 days for safety. She is digging new homes all the time. The honey badger is a great digger.
Cubs learn to get their own food. A very diverse diet has a honey badger. Animal than eats, we learn below.
Honey badger ration
Hard fat skin and rather fierce temper help this beast to stand up for itself.
These fearless animals hunt even venomous snakes, because through their thick skin the snake is not easy to get into the more delicate tissues of the body. In addition, they feed on rodents, insects, reptiles and amphibians.
A honey badger is an animal that is not afraid and decides to steal even the prey of a jaguar hidden in a tree. In fact, he is a predator-polyphage, eating the most diverse and accessible animal food. In its diet mainly dominated by hedgehogs, turtles, small animals and birds. He hunts for lizards, termites, locusts, ants, spiders, scorpions, and other insects. There are in the diet and vegetable food: fruits, tubers, roots, berries and melons.
When the honey badger, in search of food, finds nests of wild bumblebees and bees, he is happy to eat both honey and insect larvae, completely tearing their home.