Badger

Taxidea taxus

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  • Badger | The National Geographical Society [c1918] Photo: James Perdue
  • Badger | The National Geographical Society [c1918] Photo: James Perdue
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Badger Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Other names

American Badger

Order

Carnivora

Family

Mustelidae

Size

Badgers are generally between 20 and 35 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 14 years

Weight

Badger (Taxidea taxus) facts, habitat, diet, range, pictures and more to help you learn to identify the fierce animal.

Diet

Carnivore

Breeding

Both female and male Badgers reach sexual maturity early. Males will travel far to find a mate, while females tend to stay closer to their home range. Once inseminated, the embryo enters a state of arrested development. Gestation periods for Badgers are around 250 days, however growth only occurs over roughly the last month and half.

Range

Plains - Western U.S.

Number of Offspring

1-5 kits.

What does the Badger look like?

Badgers are pretty hard to miss. They have stout bodies with short, stocky legs. Their fur is overall a gray to reddish. Their faces make them easily identifiable. The throat and chin are white and they have black patches that extend from their snout over their black eyes to the base of their heads. Males are considerably larger than females.

Badger Habitat

Grasslands

Badger Facts

Hikers rarely see Badgers, as they are mostly nocturnal, but they are occasionally spotted by a lucky few. They are primarily solitary mammals but expand their territory during breeding season. The common myth that nothing of comparable size is a match for a Badger in a fight very well may be true. Badgers are very aggressive and have razor sharp teeth and claws, dense fur and loose skin that makes penetrating it extremely difficult. If that was not enough, they can run backwards as fast as forwards. Because of this, they have very few natural predators. Mountain Lions, Golden Eagles and bears are known to occasionally kill one, but generally they find out they've bitten off way more than they care to try and chew. Badgers main predators are humans. Often they are hit by cars, trapped or shot for sport. They are powerful diggers and use this skill set to feed on ground squirrels and pocket gophers, though they also eat reptiles, amphibians and some insects. They are born helpless and blind, relying sole on their mother for months. In the winter Badgers enter a state of "topor", meaning they don't truly hibernate, but their heartbeat slows, body temperature drops and they sleep for extended periods of time.

See also