|Badger is the common name for any animal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: the same mammal family as the ferrets, the weasels, the otters, and several other types of carnivore. There are eight species of badger, in three subfamilies: Melinae (the Eurasian badgers), Mellivorinae, (the Ratel or honey badger), and Taxideinae (the American badger). The Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included in the Melinae, but recent genetic evidence indicates that these are actually Old World relatives of the skunks (family Mephitidae). Typical badgers (Meles, Arctonyx, Taxidea and Mellivora species) are short-legged and "heavy-set". The lower jaw is articulated to the upper, by means of a transverse condyle firmly locked into a long cavity of the cranium, so that dislocation of the jaw is all but impossible. This enables the badger to maintain its hold with the utmost tenacity.
The collective name for a group of badgers is a cete or a clan.
The honey badger consumes honey, porcupines and even venomous snakes (such as the puff adder). They will climb trees to gain access to honey from bee's nests.
Badgers have been known to attack the young of certain canines.
The diet of the Eurasian badger consists largely of earthworms, insects, and grubs. They also eat small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds as well as cereals, roots and fruit.
Badgers and humans
Badger-baiting is a blood sport outlawed in the United Kingdom by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835.
The dachshund dog breed has a history with badgers; "dachs" is the German word for badger, and dachshunds were originally bred to be badger hounds.
Badgers are popular in English language fiction. Many badger characters are featured in author Brian Jacques' Redwall series, most often falling under the title of Badger Lord or Badger Mother. One such badger contains 'Brock' in his name. Other stories featuring badgers include The Boy Who Talked to Badgers (1975 movie), The Tale of Mr. Tod, The Wind in the Willows, The Once and Future King, The Animals of Farthing Wood, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Book of Merlyn, and The Chronicles of Narnia. In the Harry Potter series, one of the four Houses, Hufflepuff, is symbolized by a badger. The character Frances in Russell Hoban's series of children's books is a badger. They also appear prominently in two volumes of Erin Hunter's Warriors: The New Prophecy series.
The most prominent poem on the badger is from the Romantic period's John Clare. "Badger" describes a badger hunt, complete with badger-baiting, and treats the badger as a noble creature who dies at the end.
Badger hair is used to make quality shaving brushes.
The Badger is the state animal of Wisconsin. Wisconsin earned its nickname the Badger State because early miners looked like badgers coming out of holes.
Today, Bucky Badger is the beloved mascot of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Brock University of St. Catharines, Ontario also has the badger as its mascot.
Many Redwall stories have Badger lords in them. The badgers rule a mountain fortress called Salamandastron.
Cyclist Bernard Hinault was nicknamed "The Badger".
Bob Johnson (ice hockey), 1990 coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, was often dubbed "Badger Bob."
Bodger and Badger, children's Television show on the BBC
In the Rare game Viva Pinata, the badger pinata is called a Badgecicle.
The badger is the mascot for the Hufflepuff house in Harry Potter.
Badger is a totem animal of Italian singer Eduardo Borsuci, currently frontman of the band Eduardo Borsuci in Optima Forma.
Badger is the NATO codename for the USSR TU-16 jet bomber.
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