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Taxidea taxus

American Badger

Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae

Image of Taxidea taxus
Taxidea taxus - typical coat pattern, right; southwestern variant with longer dorsal stripe, left
Click to enlarge. (80 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Badgers look like short, shaggy, medium-sized dogs. They are powerful diggers. One, taken to a football game as a mascot, escaped and dug its way under the field. They dig afterand feed onground squirrels and pocket gophers, and also eat toads, frogs, birds, snakes, insects and insect grubs, wasps, bees, and worms. They sleep through most of the winter in a den, spending about 29 hours at a time in a state of torpor, rousing briefly, and then sleeping again. In torpor, which is not true hibernation, the Badger's heartbeat slows to about half the normal rate and its temperature drops. Humans are the Badgers' worst enemy, trapping and poisoning them, but they are now protected in some states and provinces.

Also known as:
North American Badger, Tlalcoyote, or Blaireau

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Range: 600-790 mm

Weight:
Range: up to 12 kg in the wild, 18 kg in captivity

References:

Schreber, J.C.D., 1777.  in Schreber's Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen, Wolfgang Walther, Erlangen, 7 volumes, 1774-1846; 3(26):pl. 142[1778], text, 3(26):520[1777].

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Taxidea taxus

Image of Taxidea taxus
Click to enlarge. (40kb)