Many of you have seen a honey badger eat the snake with pleasure after fighting a snake or defy any animal. This species, which has a small body compared to many animals, does incredible things. Because of its fearlessness and courage, it is named “World’s Most Fearless Creature” in the Guinness World Records, formerly known as the Guinness Book of Records. How would you like to get to know this animal a little better?
The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is the only species belonging to the Mellivora genus in the Mellivorinae subfamily of the weasel family and has 12 subspecies. It is not an endangered animal and is a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. Its habitats extend from South Morocco to South Africa and from the Caspian Sea to India. Although the honey badger is named badger, unlike badgers, it looks more like ferrets. The reason they are called honey badgers is that they like to eat honey.
According to the story believed in the past; Greater honeyguide birds take the honey badger to the honey hive and then wait patiently for the honey badger to open the hive and eat the honey and bee larvae. When the honey badger leaves the hive, they feed on the remaining wax. However, the fact that this event was not observed shows that such a thing did not occur. Mother honey badgers provide their offspring with food, shelter, and protection until they become independent between twelve and twenty-two months. Males are not involved in raising offspring. Honey badgers are polygamous and there is no specific period when the offspring are born.
Their gestation period is six to eight weeks, and they often give birth to a litter. Cubs are born hairless and blind; puppies’ eyes open within two months. Honey badgers have long bodies and short legs; body length is between 55-77 cm, tail length is between 12-30 cm. Females are smaller than males; males weigh between 9 and 16 kg and females between 5 and 10 kg. Their skin is very loose and thick; slack gives them the ability to spin freely and fight when caught. Their fur is white or gray on the back and black down the shoulders.
What Are Honey Badgers?
The honey badger is an extraordinary creature with both courage and features and is very curious. Wide geography extending to South Morocco, South Africa, and India is the habitat of honey badgers. They are also seen in Turkmenistan. Although they are a type of badger, they are similar in appearance to ferrets. They take their name from their passion for honey. They attack beehives to eat honey. Due to their thick skin, they are not affected by venomous bee stings. They do not live in flocks or groups. They usually live alone and only meet at breeding time.
They know no boundaries in courage and challenge animals much larger than their cats. They can attack animals such as lions and leopards. It is often seen that they attack and eat alligators. The honey badger is a roaring animal and although it has a small body build, its roar is extremely powerful. Female honey badgers give birth to only one offspring. They take care of their offspring for 12 months. Honey badgers can maneuver very easily thanks to their loose and thick skin structure. The fur on their fur becomes longer in the winter and shorter in the summer. Their rapid turns are particularly striking during attack and hunting. Claws evolved to dig, attack, smash, and grasp. They have sharp claws.
They are very smart. They develop natural methods to attack, escape, and search for food, and can use some objects such as apes as tools. There are scent glands under the tail that they can use when they are afraid or want to define their territory. Skunks have such scent glands, but they spray scent glands with these scent glands, while honey badgers release the scent. The scent they emit is effective for a shorter time compared to skunks. Adult honey badgers consume 1 kg of food per day. They have a carnivorous diet mostly omnivores. They feed on birds, cobra snakes, scorpions, frogs, mice, and fruits.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the honey badger is the most fearless creature in the world. Their fearlessness leads them to be known aggressively. Despite their reputation, honey badgers are not bad animals. Yes, they fight for their food. Yes, they attack their predators. But wouldn’t you do that too?
Honey badgers are not filthy animals that attack everything. They attack only to defend themselves. Despite their solitary nature, honey badgers need maternal affection. There is no exact age at which a young honey badger leaves home. Some leave home as soon as they can supply their own food. But other honey badgers are mama’s boys and will stay with their mother until they are bigger than their mother!
It is said that they are so fearless since they do not secrete the hormone. Thanks to their thick skin, they are not easily affected by attacks, moreover, this skin resists poison. Even the poisons that kill huge animals in one go will not penetrate this animal. He is courageous and comfortable enough to be able to enter the beehives, feed his stomach, and continue on his way by waving his arms, regardless of the needles of bees. In one of his videos, he is bitten by a snake and then he falls asleep. After waking up, he devours the snake. He also needs this sleep to expel the toxic toxins that enter his body.
Honey badgers can travel 80 km daily. They also swim very well. Honey badgers are carnivorous animals. The most important food sources are snakes, mice, and birds. They are also known as thieving animals. Because it is a fast animal, it can kidnap animals that other animals hunt. (They consume 1 kilo or more food per day.) Female honey badgers only give birth to a single offspring. Male honey badgers may not be with the females during this period. They usually hang out alone and have a melancholic pattern. Only during the mating time, they approach the badgers and then leave the female.
Scientists naturally discovered and studied this interesting animal. They could not say for sure about their extraordinarily resilient condition, but it has been suggested that honey badgers do not contain the hormone and have an antidote to all kinds of poison in their bodies. It is very surprising that it is so resistant to animals such as snakes and scorpions that paralyze huge animals with their poison. They also act very fearlessly against lions and various predators. Of course, they can be prey to such predators, but not easily.
Characteristics of Honey Badgers
Honey badgers have a white-gray area on their back like a cloak. It is well developed for grasping and digging claws. Small ears and small eyes indicate that it targets mostly small animals. Honey badgers are animals of dry habitats and live in these areas. Usually, they live alone. Their powerful front paws are very useful for digging nests. They are omnivorous animals and consume everything that is edible; such as rodents, birds, insects, reptiles, frogs, fruits, and vegetables.
Honey badgers have certain traits that help them to be fearless in the animal kingdom. Honey badgers have a fairly thick skin. This allows them to withstand attacks from other predators. Although their skin is thick, they are quite loose, which means they can turn to the side they want very comfortably. In addition, their short tail covered with hair allows them to easily survive attacks from other animals. Honey badgers are relatively short animals with short legs. This increases their stamina when fighting other animals.
They are used to defend their strong and sharp claws; sharp claws can tear the skin of other animals. All these are features that make honey badgers easier to live in the wild. Venomous snakes cause the death of thousands of people and animals every year. There are only one of these animals, that is, honey badgers have proven their resistance to these poisons. This advantage they gained in the evolutionary process caused venomous snakes to occupy a large place in their diet. In this way, they also help to achieve ecological balance.
A snake has more than 100 proteins and other molecules that can potentially poison its victim. Scientists estimate that honey badgers likely developed defense like the one used by other venom-resistant animals such as mongooses. Neurotoxins in cobra venom, called alpha-neurotoxins that paralyze the muscles used for breathing, settle on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of a muscle cell, preventing the cell from receiving signals from the nervous system. After taking blood from honey badgers, scientists sequenced the gene sequence in their DNA and discovered several mutations within the gene that alter the receptor.
The cobra neurotoxin also matched this receptor, so it’s thought they can’t paralyze the honey badger. Scientists suggest that understanding these molecular tweaks in the honey badger’s resistant receptor may suggest new ways to create better antivenoms. Another event is that honey badgers gradually introduce poisonous insects and animals to their offspring. They first start with poisonous animals such as scorpions and become capable to eat a snake when they reach adulthood.
Honey badgers are more intelligent than many animals and have proven that they can use some tools for their own purposes. Honey badgers have a gland under their tails that stores a rancid fluid. This annoying scent is often used to mark the areas where they are found, but if a honey badger is scared or threatened, they release a ‘stink bomb’ into the environment rather than spraying the scent as their skunk relatives did. The scent of the honey badger doesn’t last like a skunk, but the message is the same: “Leave me alone!”
Detailed Information About Honey Badgers
It is a mammal species spread across Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. It has been known to brutally and fearlessly attack nearly all species when impossible to escape. Due to its large habitat and presence in a variety of habitats, it is registered as the species of least concern in the IUCN Red List. It is the only species of the genus Mellivora in the subfamily Mellivora of the Marteneae family. Despite its name, the honey badger is unlike any other badger species. Unlike badgers, it has more in common with ferrets.
Honeybadger is a carnivorous species. Thanks to its thick skin, strength, and defensive abilities, it has few natural enemies. The honey badger is listed in the 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of Records as the most fearless animal in the world. It is one of the types that can use tools. The species first appeared in Asia in the Middle Pliocene Age. The closest relative of the species is the extinct genus Mellivora. This genus, which lived in the Upper Miocene, evolved into various species in both the old and new worlds during the Pliocene Age. 12 subspecies have been accepted as valid taxa. Among the considerations in determining different subspecies are the size and the degree of whiteness or grayness behind.
Honeybadger has a fairly long body, noticeably thick and wide along the back. Its fairly loose skin allows it to rotate and bend freely. Its skin on the neck is 6 cm thick, adapted to fight other honey badgers. The head of the honey badger with a short mouth and a short nose is small and flat. Another adaptation developed to reduce damage while fighting is small eyes and slightly protruding ears.
The feet of honey badgers are equipped with very powerful claws that are short on the hind legs and quite long on the front legs. Honeybadger is an animal that walks on its partially thick wavy soles. There is no hair from the sole of the foot to the ankle. Its short tail is covered with long hair. The honey badger is the largest terrestrial badger in Africa. Adults have a shoulder height of 23-28 centimeters, a body length of 55-77 centimeters, and a tail length of 12-30 centimeters.
Females are smaller than males. In Africa, males weigh between 9 and 16 kilograms and females between 5 and 10 kilograms. In different studies, the average weight of adult honey badgers measured between 6.4 and 12 pounds. The median weight of honey badgers is 9 kilograms. These characteristics make the honey badger the third-largest known type of badger after the European badger and the pork badger. It is also the fourth largest terrestrial badger after the polar badger.
However, the average weight of three wild females found in Iraq was 18 kilograms. This weight is the same as the weight of the largest male polar badgers or the average male European badger in late autumn. This shows that the honey badger can reach much larger than its typical size under suitable conditions. However, the weight of a female and two males in India is 6.4 kilograms and the regional average is 8.4 kilograms. Skull length is 13.9-14.5 centimeters in males and 13 centimeters in females.
Honey badgers have two pairs of mammary glands. The honey badger has a reversible anal pouch that is not visible among badgers. This feature is also seen in hyenas and wagtail. The anal sac, which has a “sultry” scent, might be calming the bees while the honey badger attacks beehives. Having little resemblance to the skull of the European badger, the skull resembles the larger version of the skull of the marbled polecat. The skull structure is very robust, and adults do not have an independent bone structure. The part of the skull that encompasses the brain is larger than that of dogs.
Teeth often show signs of irregular growth, some teeth are extremely small, have unusual angles, or are completely absent. Although it mainly eats soft foods, the cheek teeth of the honey badger are often worn. The canine is extremely short for a carnivore. The tongue has sharp, backward papillae that aid in processing hard foods.
Winter fur is long and consists of sparse, thick, and hard hairs. Bristles are less frequent on the abdomen, groin, and sides. In the summer, the fur is shorter and less frequent, with half of the abdominal area hairless. Edges of the head and lower body are only black. A large white stripe covers the upper body from the top of the head to the base of the tail. They have only one completely black subspecies.
Honey badgers mostly live alone, but they have also been seen hunting in pairs in Africa in May (breeding season). They also use old nests of ground pigs, wild boars, and termites for hunting. They are skilled hunters who can tunnel into the hard ground in 10 minutes. These slots usually have only one entrance. The nests are only 1-3 m long, with nesting chambers not covered by any bed.
Honeybadger is famous for its strength, ferocity, and toughness. It has been known to brutally and fearlessly attack nearly all species when impossible to escape. It has reportedly repulsed much larger predators like lions and hyenas. Bee stings, hedgehog arrows, and animal bites rarely penetrate their skin. If a horse, cattle, or African buffalo enters the nest of the honey badger, it will be attacked. In the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, the honey badger was killed by the lion and the African rock python. In the state of the Cape, the honey badger is potential prey of the African leopard. Nile crocodiles and spotted hyenas also occasionally hunt honey badgers.
Little is known about the breeding habits of the honey badger. It is thought that the gestation period lasts 6 months and generally 2 blind babies are born. The cubs moan with weeping. It is unknown how long honey badgers, known to live in captivity for about 24 years, live in natural life. When mating, males make loud grunting sounds. When they come face to face with dogs, they scream like a bear cub.
Nutritional Routines of Honey Badgers
When the bees attack to eat the honey in their nests, it starts to be stung by hundreds of bees. But thanks to its thick skin, the sting of bees does not affect this animal. However, this is not the case for this face part. If he gets too many bees in his face, he can die. But honey badgers never give up their favorite honey, even though there is death on the tip. Honey badgers have the ability to swim. One of the funniest things about this animal is to jump and walk. He is distributing judgment around him with his walk as if saying “I am the most comfortable in the animal kingdom”.
They do not escape from any living creature they see. It sees every living thing as potential food. It also has a very elastic body. For example, when they encounter a snake, it doesn’t matter to them even if it’s a venomous cobra snake. In the eyes of the honey badger, it is only seen as a meal. The honey badger, which begins to disturb the snake, first struggles with it. Don’t think the honey badger is a very skilled hunter. Rather, it is bitten by the snake over and over again until its prey is eaten.
But one of the most interesting features of the honey badger is its immunity to snake venom. It is repeatedly bitten by a snake. Never quit fighting, the honey badger eventually eats the snake’s head and tears it off. The really interesting thing starts here, the venom of the snake acts on its body. Honeybadger, which has snake venom in its body, passes out and faints. However, after a short period of time passes the venom from his body. In his half-stunned state, it continues to eat its prey.
An animal that challenges a cobra snake cannot be expected to have fear of other animals. For them, everything is just-food. Honeybadger is also immune to scorpion venom. They don’t really care if scorpions sting them either. He eats scorpions he finds abundantly. Apart from these, if there is an animal that he cannot defeat, he does not bother. After struggling with it for a while, he quits and leaves. It stands up to even lions that are quite large for their size. Although the lion is strong enough to defeat the honey badger in any way, they are surprised that this animal stands up to them.
Most of the time, they do not attack honey badgers. Honey badgers, on the other hand, can easily be among a few lions. Honey badgers are single living animals. They do not wander in a herd. They only meet their partner when it’s time to mate. They spend time together for a while. After mating takes place, the female honey badger goes her way and the male honey badger goes its own way. There is no such thing as male honey badgers caring for their children. These non-monogamous animals do not see each other again after mating. Male honey badgers never see their children.
Why the Honey Badger Is So Fearless?
There is a species in Africa that can stand up to all wild animals, from leopard to lion, from a snake to a fox. This animal is so brave that it qualified for the Guinness Book of Records. This animal is not as sweet as its name; honey badger. Although it looks like a skunk with its black and white coat, it is actually a species of weasel. Here are the properties of the honey badger.
The honey badger, which has become a phenomenon in the literal sense of the word thanks to its videos in the internet world in recent years, challenging lions and zebras, is indeed an extremely interesting creature. When you think of the king of the forests as the animal that stands up to the lion, you might think of a beefy creature, but the honey badger is very grateful, and this state of gratitude cannot prevent it from being an arbiter of the animal kingdom, and the fantastic adventures of the honey badgers still attract people’s attention and are watched.
Although the word badger is mentioned in the name of the honey badger, which is the only species in the Mellivora genus, in fact, this species is anatomically similar to ferrets rather than badgers. Honey badgers have very thick skin and thus protect them from injury. Their thick skin protects honey badgers from attacks by predators. These lovable-looking creatures are, in a word, magnificent hunters and carnivores. Honey badgers, which can hunt almost anything smaller than themselves that come before them from cobra to bird and mouse, devour the creatures they hunt in minutes.
The honey badger was first described in 1860 and is considered to be a subspecies of the yew family. Adult male honey badgers have a body length of 55-77 centimeters. In other words, as we said at the beginning of our article, these animals are grateful and it is truly incredible that they stand up to lions with their tiny size. Female honey badgers are smaller than males. The weight of the female honey badgers varies between 5-10 kg, while the weight of the males is between 9-16 kg.
When you think of badgers, it’s probably imagined as a cute forest creature with shy, beautifully striped faces. But erase this dream from your mind! Because the honey badger is an entirely different creature, “despite its unfrightening name.” It even bears the title of the world’s most fearless animal in the official Guinness Book of Records! Despite their name, honey badgers actually share more common genes than any other species of badger. Their height is one meter (3.3 feet) long and 30 centimeters (12 inches) high. Tough and incredibly strong, honey badgers fearlessly attack their opponent with confidence. They usually act at night and live alone.
Honey badgers are also fierce warriors. They can cope with opponents up to five times their own weight, and they don’t think twice about putting a stand against even lions. A documentary cameraman said he saw three honey badgers gathering to chase a group of seven lions. But this crazy little creature has every reason to be so brave.
Almost no predator can deal with its secret weapon, the rubbery skin. With its skin half a centimeter (0.2 inches) thick, it is virtually impenetrable with sharp objects, including spears, scorpion stings, and iron traps. Because the skin lies loosely around the muscular frame, a caught honey badger can turn the other way around and, with its vicious teeth, stick its claws into the attacker’s face. It can take a leopard 1 hour to kill one of these tough little monsters!
Named the ‘most brutal’ and ‘most fearless’ animal, honey badgers often live in Africa, southwestern Asia, and southwestern parts of India. The reason why the name is honey badger is that they love honey very much. The honey badger comes from the weasel family and is known for being extremely resistant to harsh living conditions. The honey badger is a creature that has its name in the Guinness Book of Records with the title of ‘the most fearless animal’. This animal, which is claimed to have not found the hormone of fear, can challenge creatures of all sizes, from lion to snake. Even if he knows that he will be defeated, he will not give up his struggle.
In an image that recently spread on social media, the struggle of the honey badger with the leopard that caught its baby was welcomed by everyone. The mother honey badger was surprised that she walked on the leopard and scared her, then took her to her offspring. Honey badgers can live up to 24 years if they take good care of themselves. The weight of honey badgers, whose length is 55 to 77 centimeters, varies between 9-16 kilos for males and 5-10 kilos for females.
Having the potential to eat anything from snakes to bee larvae, honey badgers have a very strong immune system. In fact, the snake venom that could kill an elephant does not affect honey badgers. The honey badger, affected by the venom and fainted while eating a venomous snake, can continue to eat the snake when it wakes up. Generally, honey badgers that love to live alone meet with their partners only during mating periods.
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