"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Thursday, 28 July 2011

the honey badger

Gareth forwarded this video to me a week or so ago.  I think it is absolutely brilliant. It has been doing the rounds and is now one of the most viewed "youtube" links at the moment.  My boys have the ability to always take things to another level.  There were a host of  "honey badger" quips going around this weekend. Gareth aspires to be the "honey badger" and Nicholas found a T-shirt for him.

I prefer this one - grey is my favourite colour, after all
Honey Badger Shirt
Some facts about the honey badger you may not know:-

Honey Badgers are the “most fearless animal in the world” according to the 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. (That is what the narrator just told us)

Honey badgers are jet black except for the gray mantle, separated by a white stripe, extending from the crown to the base of the tail. The colour of the mantle and stripe may vary from one individual to another and often becomes darker with age.

The honey badger is also known as the ratel. The Norwegian for honey badger is Honninggraevling, and the French is “blaireau mange-miel”. In those parts of Africa where Swahili is spoken, the honey badger is called Nyegere. (Don't tell me I don't feed you interesting information from time to time)

Photo Credit: Francois Retief

A young / baby of a honey badger is called a ‘kit’. (Wonder if John Maytham knows that - Also testing if you are reading the details!!)

The females are called ‘sow’ and males ‘boar’. A honey badger group is called a ‘cete, colony, set or company’.

A fully grown adult male can stand as high as 30cm, and be up to 1m in total length.

They are normally solitary animals, and are one of the lesser seen African mammals. (No wonder he is so tough.  It must be horrible to be solitary)

They have skin which is very thick and rubbery, to defend them from bites, and they are able to catch and eat even the most deadliest and poisonous snakes. (See the video is 100% true)

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Bachelor

Honey badgers have a unique relationship with the greater honey guide. The little bird leads a honey badger to a beehive, and then waits good-naturedly for the honey badger to open up the hive and enjoy the honey and bee larvae. Once the honey badger leaves the hive, the honey guide will then feed on the remaining beeswax. (Clever bird - a bit like I do to Michael - make him open the big slab of whole nut, he eats a couple of squares (okay 2), then I go in for the kill)

There is just one species of honey badger, Mellivora capensis. (Solitary Mellivora capensis - you told us that already)

Litters of 1-2 young are born in nursery dens lined with grass. A young honey badger reaches adult size at around 8 months of age, but stays with its mother until it is at least 14 months of age. (Lucky mom)

Honey badgers can be very aggressive animals, and have few predators. (I can see why)

Photo Credit: Bennie van Zyl

The badgers striking coloration makes them easily recognizable and they could only be confused with the much smaller Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus) and Striped weasel (Poecilogale albinucha).

Honey badgers have a distinctive jog-trot.

Sadly, Honey Badgers are near threatened in South Africa due to attacks by bee-keepers, poultry and sheep farmers.

Photo Credit: Madach

The South African Defense Force named their Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), the Ratel, after the Honey Badger. (Interesting hey Tom? Checking that you are still following - Tom used to drive (ride) a ratel in the army)

A female honey badger has a home range of 100-150 square km. (Anyone know what that means? Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home)

The honey badger does not have visible ears. (How observant)

If anyone is keen for a t-shirt let me know.  I think Nic knows where to get them.  Maybe time for us to all cultivate a little bit of honey badger attitude.

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