Badger vs Wolverine: A Tale of Two Titans

Both badger and wolverine belong to the same Mustelid family but are distant cousins living in altogether different habitats. They might show some resemblance in terms of their physical appearance and several other features but it is quite difficult for them to encounter each other. If badgers are known for their white stripes on its face, then the wolverine is also known for its ferociousness.

The main difference between the badger vs wolverine can be observed in their physical appearance. The wolverine is a gigantic animal also referred as a skunk or devil bear. But the badger is a very small mammal as compared to the wolverine and it is almost half the size of the wolverine. Wolverine is also slightly better in terms of hunting and climbing small objects in the wilderness but badgers are also known for their digging skills.

Badger vs wolverine

There are a lot of people who are confused about these animals and sometimes intermix them. Some people also try to compare them. In this article, we are going to compare badger vs wolverine in detail and resolve this problem once and for all by dissecting all the features on which we can compare these animals.

Is wolverine a badger?

No, Wolverine is not a badger. The wolverine is a carnivorous mammal that belongs to the family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, otters, and badgers. They are are stocky and muscular animals with dark brown fur and lighter-colored fur on their faces. They have a bushy tail and powerful jaws.

Badgers are small mammals known for their burrowing habits and distinctive black and white facial markings. While Wolverine and badgers share some similarities in their tenacity and ferocity, they are entirely different creatures.

Badger vs Wolverine

are wolverines and badgers related?

Both of these animals are carnivorous and belong to the mustelid family. But they are not the same in terms of the features they exhibit. They both vary in terms of size, shape, and strength. Moreover, you can easily identify them from their physical appearance as wolverine is large in size and badger has distinguishable white stripes on its face.

Indeed, both animals are living in extremely cold environments and they have adapted themselves to survive in this climate. However, some physical variations are still apparent. Let’s compare their features one by one.

Size26 to 42 inches20 to 30 inches
Weight20 to 55 pounds30 to 35 pounds
AppearanceMuscular mammal resemblance with bearShort size mammals with sharp claws
HabitatNorthern hemisphere in Canada, USA, arctic regionNorth America, Europe, and Asia.
SoundsFierce and sharp growl or barkGrunts, growls, churrs, purrs,
DietCarrion, rabbits, rodentsBirds, snakes, mice,
Bite forceVery strongStrong
Speed30 mph18mph
Lifespan10-17 years10-15 years.

Size: badger vs wolverine

There is a great variation in terms of their sizes. For instance, the size of the wolverine is in the range of 26 to 42 inches. In this size, the size of the tail which is 6.7 to 10 inches is not included. The height of the wolverine is almost the same as that of a medium-sized dog.

Badgers have a size in the range of 20 to 30 inches. European badgers have bigger sizes but the American badger has less size. They have height up to 12 inches but the size of the tail of the badger is in the range of 4.7 to 11 inches.


The average body weight of the wolverine is in the range of 20 to 55 pounds. But the weight of the badger comes in the range between 30 to 35 pounds.

Appearance: badger vs wolverine

The wolverine is a bulky but muscular mammal that shows great resemblance to the bear. It is also called skunk bear or glutton. They have short legs but very powerful and sharp claws. They have rounded ears at the top of their heads. The color of the coat is blackish plus brown shad

Badgers are also short stocky and wedge-shaped body animals. They have short but strong legs as well as strong and sharp claws. The color of the coat is a black plus grayish shade with white markings on the face. They have thick but loose skin and an unnoticeable short tail.

See our article for: Badger vs Skunk


Both of these animals live altogether in different kinds of habitats. Wolverine is found in the northern hemisphere of Canada, USA, and in the Arctic region. A small population of wolverines has also been found in Alaska. They like to live in dense forest wooded regions. They occasionally come in contact with human beings.

On the other hand, badgers are found in the north American region, Europe, and in some areas of the Asian continent. They like to live in grasslands where they could find their predators quite easily.


When wolverines are attacked by other animals, they let out very fierce and sharp growls or bark to keep the attacker away from them. Normally, they don’t make any special noises, only their mothers like to make sounds like coos and chirps for their young cubs.

On the other hand, badgers like to make a lot of sounds like grunts, growls, churrs, purrs, yelps, hisses, chitters, etc. Growls are the longest warning sounds that badgers make when their territory is invaded by some attacker. They grunt when sniff each other or rolling with each other. Churr is called for mating purposes when they show great excitement for a sexual purpose.

Diet: wolverine vs badger

Wolverines can use any animal for their food. They love to eat carrion and for this purpose, they follow wolves to eat the remainder of their prey. They also like to eat rabbits, rodents, elks, etc. They also collect meals and store them for the long term by using snow as a refrigerator.

Badgers are also carnivorous and like to eat small animals like insects, birds, snakes, mice, etc. They could also rely on vegetables, fruits, etc.

Bite force

Wolverine has special kinds of teeth with special molars which can easily penetrate in the bones. With the combination of strong jaws and special molars, they eat every part of their prey including their bones, teeth, and hooves. They also have semi-retractable and curved claws which are ideal for shredding and hooking.

They are very ferocious and fearless and could also attack bears and kill them by suffocating them from their throats. The sharp claws, thick skin, sharp teeth, and powerful jaws are extremely helpful in keeping the predators away. Sometimes they are killed by porcupine quills.

Badgers on the other hand also exhibit very strong bite force. They have very strong jaws and they can even break the shell of a tortoise. With this force, they can even bite off a human finger.

Behavior: wolverine vs badger

Wolverines are solitary animals and like to live alone on large land. They travel for food and also leave their marks for female. They also leave some special scent. Female wolverine usually gives birth to 2 to 3 kits in the late winter.

Badgers could make their dens anywhere they like to live. It could be in the ground, a tree trunk, or an old mound. They have exceptional digging skills and could easily dig up to 9 feet long and 5 feet deep. Being nocturnal, they go out at the night for collecting food. They also like to take over the dens made by other mammals.


Wolverine is a speedster and could easily run at the speed of 30 mph. It is even faster than the fastest running speed of human beings. Badgers could not run very fast and could only run up to a maximum speed of 18 mph.

Lifespan: badger vs wolverine

It varies both in captivity as well as in the wilderness. Gluttons can live up to a decade in wild but up to 17 years in captivity. Badgers also live up to a decade in wild but up to 15 years in captivity.

Hunting skills: wolverine vs badger

Wolverine has exceptional hunting skills. They can even attack much larger size animals. They attack very ferociously when they are extremely hungry. On the other hand, badgers also have great hunting skills but they are actually more known for their extraordinary digging skills.

Climbing skills: badger vs wolverine

Both of these animals are not good in terms of climbing. They occasionally climb when they are most in need to climb. They can climb rocks and trees but not very high hurdles.

Conservation status

Overall, the population of the wolverine is extremely difficult to estimate. However, they are not currently endangered species according to IUCN. It is roughly estimated that the population of the wolverine is around 50,000 in the world. In only Canada, almost 20,000 wolverines are estimated to exist. They like to live in snowy northern areas. That’s the main reason there are only 400 wolverines exist in the southern states of the USA.

On the other hand, badgers have quite a stable population all over the world. They are not endangered in any region where they exist. In England alone, there is almost a population of 500,000 badgers. There is a huge population of badgers throughout all over the Europe. They also exist in northern America and some of the population has also been found in the Asian continent.

Who would win a badger or a wolverine?

Wolverine has great muscular strength and they can overpower badgers. But it would be a very tough fight as both would like to compete to the bitter end. However, you should also keep in mind that there is a very rare chance that a badger could encounter a wolverine naturally as they both are living in different kinds of habitats. They could encounter each other if it is done deliberately by human beings to analyze their strengths.

Key differences between badgers and Wolverines

  • Wolverine doesn’t allow any other wolverine to interfere in its homes. They could even kill other wolverines while protecting their homes. Badgers like to interchange their houses with other badgers.
  • Wolverine has black and brown color fur but badgers have black plus gray color hair.
  • Wolverine has a lifespan of up to 17 years while badgers have a lifespan up to 15 years.
  • Wolverines has much larger size than Badgers.
  • Wolverine has almost double the weight as compared to badger.

Frequently asked questions

Both are carnivorous mammals. They can eat each other if they have a chance. Wolverines may eat badgers if they win a fight or found badgers dead. Badgers could also eat wolverines in the same condition although they like to eat small mammals.

It is unlikely that they would attack humans as they don’t like to encounter with human beings. Usually, they run away whenever they encounter with humans. Normally, they like to attack small mammals or pets. Indeed, humans should not feel any threat from these animals but they should stay away from these animals as they are wild and could be dangerous.

It has been reported that a bear was killed by a wolverine but it doesn’t seem plausible. Wolverines might stand up against big animals like bears but it is not possible they would immediately attack or kill them. It might be possible only if wolverine attack bears at some specific points like the neck. Otherwise, they would not be able to kill bears.

As far as the wolves are concerned, there is not any evidence of wolves killing by the wolverine but some certain evidence of wolverines killed by the wolves exists.


Both the badgers and wolverines belong to the same family and are very strong animals. There are some similarities but a lot of differences exist between them as they both live in altogether different kinds of habitats. Both are ferocious and fearless animals and sometimes they attack animals that are much larger than their size but it is not possible they could easily attack or kill big animals like bears, wolves, etc.

In this article of badger vs wolverine, we have clearly highlighted all the similarities and differences between these animals. By going through this article, you can easily find out all the differences between these animals and clear all your confusion about these aggressive animals. I hope this article will help you a lot.

Izzy foxx on a vet tour in africa

Izzy Foxx

Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.

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