What Is a Badger and Is It Blind?
Badger is a burrowing mammal. A male badger is a boar, a female is a sow and a young badger is a cub. A collective name suggested for a group of badgers is a cete, but badger colonies are more often called clans. It sleeps during the day in its underground home called a sett, coming out at night to search for food.
Badgers are born blind and helpless with only a thin coat of fur. The eyes of the youngsters open at 4 to 6 weeks old. Badgers have rather short, wide bodies, with short legs for digging. They have elongated, weasel-like heads with small ears. Their tails vary in length depending on species; the stink badger has a very short tail, while the ferret badger’s tail can be 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long, depending on age.
They have black faces with distinctive white markings, grey bodies with a light-coloured stripe from head to tail, and dark legs with light-coloured underbellies. They grow to around 90 cm (35 in) in length including tail. The Eurasian badger is about 1 m (3ft) long and weighs 13 kg (29lb). The American badger is slightly smaller.
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 roots and fruit. American Badgers are fossorial carnivores. Unlike many carnivores that stalk their prey in open country, badgers catch most of their food by digging. They can tunnel after ground-dwelling rodents with amazing speed.
Although rarely eaten today in the United States or the United Kingdom, badger was once one of the main meat sources in the diets of Native Americans and white colonists. Today badgers are commercially raised for their hair, which is harvested to make shaving brushes.