Ratel

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Ratel (disambiguation).
Ratel
Conservation status: Secure
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Subfamily:Mellivorinae
Genus:Mellivora
Species:M. capensis
Binomial name
Mellivora capensis
(Schreber, 1776)

The Ratel (Mellivora capensis), also known as the Honey Badger, is a member of the Mustelidae family. They are distributed throughout most of Africa and western and south Asia. It is the only species classified in the genus Mellivora and the subfamily Mellivorinae

Appearance

The Honey Badger has a very distinctive appearance thanks to the stark contrast between the white fur on its upper parts and the dark colouration underneath. Its fearsome front claws and tremendous strength make it a very efficient digger, a talent it uses both in digging up dung beetles for food and burrowing for shelter.

Length: 60-77cm (83.5-30in)

Tail: 20-30cm (8-12in)

Weight: 7-13kg (15-29lb)

Behaviour

They have a great appetite for ravaging beehives. This causes conflicts with commercial honey producers, some of whom shoot, trap, or poison animals they suspect of damaging their hives.

A bird, the honeyguide, has a habit of leading Ratels and other large mammals to bees' nests. When a Ratel breaks into the nest, the birds take their share too.

They are among the fiercest hunters of the desert, with prey including worms, termites, scorpions, porcupines, hares and even snakes.

External links

nl:honingdas

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