sources say the badger is a hibernator and some say they are not.
Like the bear, badgers go into a dormant
time where their temperatures drop a little but no where near the amount
that a true hibernator's will. Their heart beat and breathing slows
down, but still not as much as a true hibernator. The badger will
have awake times during the winter but not that many of them. All of
this means that the badger goes through torpor,
or temporary hibernation.
Most badgers live in warm areas and don't go into torpor.
Badgers are related to skunks, martens, and
weasels. They mostly live in Asia, Europe, and North America.
They like tropical forests,
plains, woodlands, and mountains. They can be found in prairie
Badgers are about 15-30 inches long and can weigh as
much as 35 pounds. They have brownish-gray fur and black legs.
They have a black and white striped face. They are chubby and
usually waddle when they walk. They have a white stripe from their
noses to their backs.
European badgers are friendlier and get along better
with other badgers. The North American kind travel around
alone. They will find a new burrow every night unless they are going
to hibernate. Once hibernation begins, the North American ones will
stay in the same underground burrow
The European badgers work together in groups called 'clans'.
They build burrows with lots of tunnels and rooms called setts.
They make sounds to talk to each other.
Both kinds of badgers make nests with grass at the ends
of the tunnels. Badgers mate in August or September and their babies
are born between March and May. The female will have between 2 and 5
babies that will be born blind. After a few months, the babies will
be able to leave home and go off on their own.
Badgers are mostly nocturnal
but some do go out in the daytime. They are omnivorous
and eat plants and animals. They like mice, snakes, larvae, worms,
and fruit. They will dig up a lot of their food and have very sharp
claws. They are smart hunters, too. Sometimes badgers will go
into the burrow belonging to their prey. They will wait until the
prey comes back and then catch them.
When fall comes, North American badgers begin to get
even chubbier. They eat more food so that they can go into torpor
[sleep]. They begin to store food in their burrows so that when they
wake up in the winter, they will have something to eat. When winter
comes, they will sleep for weeks at a time. They will wake, eat, and
go back to sleep again. They do this until winter is over and they
can come out again.
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