There are various types of badgers living around the world. There are some similarities as well as differences exist between these animals. Mostly, they exhibit the same properties. They are mainly differentiated based on their physical appearance and habitat. There are several badger species but the most prominent among these are American, European, and Honey badgers. American badgers live in North America, European badgers mostly in Europe, and honey badgers in Africa and Asia.
- What are badgers?
- Types of badgers
- What are the toughest badgers among these?
- Which is the biggest badger among these?
- Frequently asked questions
What are badgers?
Badger belongs to the weasel family and exists in many parts of the world. They are very well known for their burrowing capability. There are several species of badgers found in various regions. They differ in terms of size, appearance, weight, habitat, and coloration, but all of these species are nocturnal and have powerful jaws, sharp claws, and special anal scent glands. They are omnivores but American badgers mostly rely on just rodents, rabbits, mice, etc.
Types of badgers
There are different species of badgers exist in the world. Let’s discuss these one by one.
American badger (Taxidea taxus)
They are also known as the most known new world specie. They are very muscular, short-necked, stocky badgers that mostly exist in the open and dry lands of western North America. The tail and legs are quite short. The grayish plus dark coat with a special white stripe goes from the nose to the tail end. They are 42 to 65 cm long, 23 cm tall and weigh 4 to 12 kg. They are solitary but very powerful animals and rely on rodents, squirrels, rabbits, mice, gophers, etc.
They have homes in the range of 1 to 10 square km. They spend most of their winter season inside the dens sleeping for long hours. For this purpose, they also get a large amount of fat during the late summer. They also mate in the late summer and 2 to 3 cubs are born in the upcoming spring. They have a very stable population throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
European badgers (Meles meles)
They are omnivores and rely on insects, birds, small mammals, nuts, fruits, and eggs. They have a grayish-black coating with black and white stripes going from nose to back. They are 30 cm tall, 50 to 80 cm long, and weigh around 8 to 10 kg. They are social animals and like to live in very large groups. They are territorial animals and most of them stick to their regions rather than roaming around.
They show very aggressive behavior when feel any danger from others. They spend most of their time building dens and hunting. They are not endangered species and have almost a 6-week gestation period. They are mostly killed by vehicles or diseases like tuberculosis and starvation rather than their natural predators.
Also, read the American badger vs European badger article to understand their differences in a better way.
Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis)
Honey badgers or Ratel are the most fearless animals according to the Guinness book of world records. They are excellent in terms of hunting and surviving. They have 10 inches in height and weigh around 15 to 35 pounds. They might not be the most intimidating animals but are among the dangerous animals which are greatly capable of protecting themselves.
One of their physical property which match the American badger is their physical appearance in terms of their smaller head, ears, and eyes. You will also notice slight variations in their fur color. They have brownish plus gray color fur on their back, tail, and legs.
Also, read the Badger vs Honey badger article to understand how honey badgers are different from other species of badgers.
Chinese or Ferret badgers (genus Melogale)
They have also been named trees or pahmi badgers. They are internally divided into four species named Chinese, Burmese, Everett’s, and Javan badgers. They live in the Asian continent from northeast India to central China and Southeast Asia. They are mostly found in forests and grasslands and rely on insects, rodents, birds, worms, wild fruits, etc. They have a brownish plus blackish color with white stripes on the face as well as the throat.
They are just 33 to 43 cm long and smaller than American and European badgers. They weigh around 3 to 6 pounds. They live up to one decade. However, they mostly survive 6 to 7 years. They have a bushy but brown tail that is almost 2 feet long.
Moreover, they have ridges on their feet and partially webbed toes. This increases their climbing capability but like other badgers, they also like to spend most of their time underground. They are not endangered species.
Hog badger (Arctonyx collaris)
They are also named sand badger or hog-nosed. They live in the lowland and mountainous regions same as ferret badgers. They have a grayish plus black coat with black and white stripes on the head, throat, nose, ears, and tail. They are 55 to 70 cm long have weigh around 7 to 14 kg. They are also omnivores and like to eat earthworms, invertebrates, fruits, and small mammals. Source.
They are known for their bad temper and also have very big but strong claws. They snout like a dog and sniff for underground food. They have the capability of digging very fast. In regions like Thailand and India, they are considered endangered species due to the loss of their habitat and overhunting. They are also called Burmese or Indochinese badgers.
Japanese Badger (Meles Anakuma)
Japanese badgers are found in japan and are almost 30 inches in size. They have brown color fur and like to live in the forest-type region. They are moderate and show less aggressiveness towards other animals.
They consist of two species named Indonesian stink badger and Palawan stink badger. They live in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia. They have brown plus blackish color coat with black and white stripes on the face and back. They are 38 to 51 cm long and weigh around 1-4 kg along with a very short tail. They have a very offensive and strong scent.
Indonesian stink badger (Mydaus javanensis)
These are Indonesian-based badgers that you can only find in the java, Borneo, Sumatra, or natuna islands. They prefer to live in higher-altitude caves and mountains. Like other badgers, they also release very stinky liquid, which could faint humans and might kill small mammals like dogs.
They are small but heavy with black and brown coat of fur and white patches on their heads. They are 20 inches long and weigh up to 8 pounds. They like to live in their own dens. For this purpose, they make their own dens, long tunnels, and a big chamber at the end where they like to sleep.
They like to socialize with their family members and don’t roam very much. They like to eat insects, worms, grubs, birds, and plants.
Palawan stink badger (Suillotaxus marchei)
Palawan stink badger exhibits many similar features like the Indonesian stink badger. They like to live in smaller areas and are only found in the Philippine islands. They like to roam in open grasslands and mostly in cultivated areas. One key difference which makes them distinguishable is their diurnal and solitary lifestyle. They could run very fast and have very limited seeing capability but they have a great sense of hearing and sensing. They come out during morning and evening hours and like to eat insects, worms, and various plants and fruits.
Also Read our article for badger sounds to understand the badgers communications.
What are the toughest badgers among these?
Honey badger is the toughest badger among these badgers. They like to attack many other creatures and capture their territories and food. The name of the honey badgers suggests their extra love for honey in the beehives. They also have to compete with many other predators for their survival in the region.
They show great aggressiveness against other animals which is their natural instinct. This is also good for their defense. Overall, we can say they are very vicious animals who are always ready to rumble.
Which is the biggest badger among these?
The European badger is the largest badger among these animals. Other badgers like American badgers, hog badgers, and honey badgers are a little bit smaller than European badgers. The European badger is also the second largest among the mustelid family after the wolverine which is the largest member of this family.
Frequently asked questions
Several badger species exist all over the world. They exhibit many similarities and also some differences. We have explained briefly all the badger species one by one. If you go through this article, you can get to know everything about different types of badgers and clear the confusion in your kind about all the badgers. I hope this article helps you a lot.
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.