Monday, March 3, 2014
Honey badgers: the ultimate badasses
When I started to do research for this post, I found that there is an entire meme on the internet devoted to the toughness of the honey badger. So, this will not be a particularly original post. Still, the creature's toughness is so admirable that I wanted to pay tribute.
Few animals rival the honey badger's incredible ferocity and toughness. Honey badgers will take on anybody, period.
When most creatures see a cobra, their first thought is not, "Ah -- lunch!" A honey badger's is.
If a honey badger does get bitten by a cobra or Gabon Viper while killing it, it will go into a sort of coma for up to twenty hours. Then it just gets up and goes about its business, including devouring the rest of the snake. (We all have to sleep off a bad hangover.)
They will brave a similar fate just to get honey (and bee larvae). Honey badgers have been known to take up to over 300 stings at a time for a meal.
Even hyenas, who are also famous for their ferocity, are reluctant to take on a honey badger one on one. A full grown hyena weighs up to 150 pounds pounds and has a bite strength of 1100 pounds per square inch, one of the highest in the animal kingdom. A full grown honey badger weighs, at most, 30 pounds.
Perhaps most impressively, honey badgers will face down lions. Not just one, but several. They hiss at the lions, walk backwards away from them, and, if attacked, bite the lions on their noses, which usually causes them to back off.
The honey badger's closest spiritual equivalent is the wolverine. (Fifty pound wolverines have been known to defend a carcass against a grizzly bear.)
The honey badger's teeth are sharp, but not nearly as large as those of a lion or hyena, and its bite strength does not compare. And it has sharp claws, but they are attached to arms less than a foot long.
What it does have more of than any other animal is courage.