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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Taxidea
Species: taxus

Length: 20 - 34 inches
Weight: 12 - 16 lbs
Gestation: 250 days
Offspring: 1 - 5
Life Span: 12 years

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North American Badger

Taxidea taxus

The badger is a stocky animal. It has a flat body and short, powerful legs. The fur on the back and flanks of a badger ranges from gray to red and the underside is usually a light color. The badger has distinctive markings on its face with a white chin and black patches on its face. A white stripe extends from its nose, over its head and can reach as far back as its rump. Badgers have very powerful forelimbs and can dig extremely well through soil and even harder substances. There are unverified reports of badgers digging through pavement and concrete. While digging, the badger uses its forepaws to pass the soil back to its hind legs, which kick the dirt away from the badger. This dirt usually flies 6 to 8 feet from where the badger is working. The badger is a very formidable fighter and, while not that aggressive, will defend itself when pressed.

The badger eats small mammals, birds, reptiles and arthropods. Unlike most carnivores, it does not hunt for most of its food but catches it by digging it out of the ground.

Badgers are found in dry, open country primarily in the Great Plains region of North America. Since the turn of the century they have expanded their range and can be found as far east as Ontario, Canada.

The primary predatorsWhat does predators mean? of the badger are the eagle and the coyote.

Badgers are solitaryWhat does solitary mean? creatures. You will usually only find 5 animals in a 2 square mile area. In general, they are not very territorial. Badgers are primarily nocturnal and are usually inactive most of the winter (though they do not hibernateWhat does hibernate mean?.) Badgers are burrowing animals and sleep in densWhat does dens mean? that they dig. These dens are usually created as they are pursuing preyWhat does prey mean? and can contain 30 feet or more of tunnels.

Badger females are technically pregnant for 7 months. However, during most of this time the embryo is in a suspended state and actually develops during the last 6 weeks of the pregnancy. The female badger cares for its young by itself. Young badgers are born in late spring and early summer and usually strike out on their own in late summer.

Badgers have excellent senses of smell and hearing.

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