The honey badger got some viral fame a few years ago. Now we dig into the Mpala Field Guide for a few more details on this mostly fearless and often feared, small creature of Africa.
The honey badger weighs just 11 (female) to 25 (male) pounds and stands a little over a foot tall. When awake, the honey badger seldom picks fights it can’t win. Thick, loose skin around its neck allows it to rotate its head and bite any attacker. The skin also protects it from bee stings and snakebites (they also may have some immunity to venom), and a stink gland at the base of the tail emits an offensive smell to keep away unwanted company.
So when they do get into fights, its striking colors warn would-be predators that a honey badger is not an easy meal. When threatened, the badger faces its enemy, produces a rattle-roar, stands its hair on end, emits a stink bomb, and then charges. This display, combined with the badger’s sheer strength and a tough, loose hide that makes getting a firm grip difficult for an attacker, usually causes the predator give up and go looking for an easier meal.
Learn more at the Mpala Field Guide and tune into the African Wildlife Live Cams every day at explore.org.
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