Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Facts About The Honey Badger

Fact 1: They are also known as the "Ratel."

The name "Ratel" has probably been taken from the Afrikaans language which is native to Namibia and South Africa. It also may have been derived from the rattling sound that they make when they are frightened. It's quite interesting to know that the Infantry Fighting Vehicle of the South African Defense Force was named "Ratel". Its scientific name is Mellivora capensis, which means "honey eater of the cape." The "cape" refers to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa where they were first described.

Fact 2: They live in Africa and the Middle East.

If you want to see honey badgers, you may want to visit these places: Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park in South Africa, Tsavo National Park in Kenya and the Etosha National Park in Namibia. They are also known to raid refuse bins in certain campsites such as the Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National park in Zimbabwe.

Fact 3: They are the world's most fearless animal.

According to the Guinness Book of records (2002), the honey badger is the "world's most fearless animal." They may look cute and adorable-but don't be deceived. They're rather tough, so don't mess with these guys. You will know why as we go on.

Fact 4: Honey badgers kill and eat snakes.

Yes, you heard it right! Honey Badgers can attack snakes-even the most vicious and venomous ones. They can devour an entire five feet-long snake in just 15 minutes. They kill snakes by grabbing them behind the head. Other creatures that fall prey to this fierce animal include termites, earthworms, hares, tortoises, and even crocodiles that are about a meter in length.

Fact 5: They are solitary creatures.

Honey badgers live in solitude. There are reports, though, of honey badgers coming together in a place where food is abundant. They are said to have no permanent shelter. After digging a hole and staying there for about a day or two, they travel again and look for another place to stay.

Fact 6: They are nocturnal during summer and diurnal during the winter.

In areas where human activity is frequent, however, honey badgers are mainly nocturnal.

Fact 7: They have very thick and rubbery skin.

Their toughness and looseness of their skin make them resistant to bites from other animals. They are also able to twist around, allowing them to turn and bite predators.

Fact 8: They don't have visible ears.

This fact is pretty obvious, as their ears appear to be quite hidden.

Fact 9: They have been known to live for 24-26 years.

There is not much information regarding the lifespan of honey eating badgers. However, there are sources saying that they can live up to 24-26 years in captivity. In the wild, they may have a shorter lifespan, probably 7-8 years.

Fact 10: Honey Badgers release scent from their anal glands.

There are suggestions that honey loving badgers release scent from their anal glands to "fumigate" the bees driving them away from the hive.

Honey Badgers may not sound as sweet and good-natured as how the name implies, but they are still one of the most unique animals that you can find.

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