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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

European Badgers: The Fantastic Diggers

2020-10-16
Language:English
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European badgers, also known as Eurasian badgers, are part of the family Mustelidae, and inhabit almost all of Europe and some portions of Asia. There are 11 different species of badgers altogether. We can be found in various areas of our world and vary in size, habitat, and physical appearance. All are nocturnal and superb at digging. We prefer living in dry, open fields, such as grasslands and woodlands with scattered bushes, trees, and shrubs. Speaking about digging ability, we are second to none. Look at our front limbs tipped with powerful, curved claws, strong like steel, and you will know why. We have a flattened body with short, stocky legs that are very useful for digging. When burrowing, our third eyelid can protect us from soil flying into our eyes, and the thick hairs in our nostrils and ears help prevent dust and debris from entering them. We badgers use our strong claws to construct our homes. Our lifestyle is to reside with our clan, consisting of approximately 6-15 members in an underground den known as a sett. Most clans will have a main sett with a few secondary ones. The number of setts a badger clan has depends on the den age, the clan size, and the soil type. Our underground systems are well-established with good ventilation and drainage. Most are built on gentle slopes facing south to southwest to have more sun exposure. As you can see, we keep our dwellings exceptionally clean and tidy. We regularly replace our bedding with new grass or drag the existing material outside to air it to prevent flea and tick build-up. Besides being good at burrowing, we have many other abilities. Badgers run 25 to 30 kilometers per hour for short periods of time and are excellent climbers. We can swim as well! We European badgers have been featured in numerous novels, television programs and films over the years. Our personality and behavior have inspired the creation of many badger characters. The abilities of animals are often beyond human imagination. So, the next time you encounter us in your yard or on the road, I hope you will have more respect for us and all other living beings as well.
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