Why do badgers have stripes?

Us badgers already have our black and white fur by the time we leave our sett for the first time and we are very proud of our stripes!!

When we feel threatened or afraid, we have learned to face our enemy with a lowered head and fluffed-up fur coat. This makes us look scary. Many people think that badgers like me evolved our dazzling black and white pattern as a warning and to show off our big jaws and teeth. We are very kind creatures though and looking mean is usually enough to see off unwanted visitors and neighbours who might want to steal our worms!!!

I thought you might want to know a few more facts about me and my family….

  • There are several species of badger living around the world. Badgers found in the UK are European Badgers, which have the scientific name Meles meles.
  • Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines. They belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals.
  • Badgers are thought to have got their name because of the white mark – or badge – on their head, although there are other theories.
  • Another old name for badgers is ‘brock’, meaning grey. You can often see the word brock in street names. Brock is also the name of a character in the Pokemon TV series!
  • A badger’s home is called a sett. A group of badgers living together is called a clan.
  • Badgers are fast – they can run up to 30km per hour (nearly 20 mph) for short periods.
  • Badgers mainly eat earthworms and insects, but can also eat small mammals and birds, as well as fruit and nuts.
  • Badgers can grow to around 70cm in length, and weigh about 12kg.