Honey badgers, also called ratels are carnivorous animals from the Mellivora genus and known to have few predators due to their strength, ferocious defensive abilities and thick skin.
They are about 23-28 cm (9.1-11.0 in) in shoulder height and 55-77 cm (22-30 in) in body length, with the tail adding another 12-30 cm 4.7-11.8 in), though the females are known to be smaller than the males.
On average, the male weighs about 9-16 kg (20-35 lb), while the females weighs about 5-10 kg (11-22 lb).
Despite being small in size, the honey badger is known for its ferocious defensive abilities and also its aggressive nature; and are known to attack large predators such as lions, hyenas and even snakes.
Though ratels may have many reasons to be fearless, but below are five reasons why they are fearless.
1. Honey badgers possess powerful claws which is about 1.5 inch long (4cm) and teeths that are strong enough to even crack a tortoise shell.
2. They posses a thick and loose skin which enables them turn and twist freely within it.
3. Also, their skin gives them great protection against most attacks from wild and larger predators like dogs, lions etc. Spears, arrows and matchetes cannot easily penetrate their skin.
4. Ratels have super-strong immunity to the venom of snakes and scorpions.
5. Lastly, they are naturally aggressive, powerful and smarter animals which gives them some advantages over large predators.
Where are they found
They are found in most Sub-Saharan Africa, Iran, western Asia and Saudi Arabia, and are also known to adapt in different conditions ranging from warm rain forests to cool mountains. Their home ranges can be as large as about 193 square miles (500 square kilometers).
What do they eat
They feed on honey, honeybee larvae, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals; they also eat roots, berries, fruits and bulbs.
Ratels have a lifespan of about 24 years in captivity, though their lifespan in the wild is yet unknown.
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