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Badger PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Aug 8, 2021

Badgers are short-legged omnivores that belong to the Mustelidae family (which includes otters, polecats, weasels, and ferrets). Still, there are also two species named “badgers” in the Mephitidae family (including the skunks). Badgers are a polyphyletic taxonomic grouping, not a natural taxonomic grouping, and are distinguished by their squat bodies specialized for fossorial activity. All carnivorous animals belong to the caniform suborder.

Mustelid badgers are divided into four subfamilies: Melinae (four species, including the European badger), Helictidinae (five species of ferret-badger), Mellivorinae (the honey badger or ratel), and Taxideinae (the American badger); the genera include Arctonyx, Meles, Melogale, Mellivora, and Taxidea.

Badgers are the most primitive mustelids. The American badger is the most primitive, followed by the ratel and Melinae, with estimated split times of 17.8, 15.5, and 14.8 million years ago, respectively. The two species of Asiatic stink badgers in the genus Mydaus were previously classified as Melinae (and hence Mustelidae), but new genetic data suggests they are skunks (Mephitidae).

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Badger mandibular condyles link to lengthy chambers in their skulls, increasing biting grip strength and preventing jaw dislocation. As a result, jaw movement is limited to hinging open and shut or sliding from side to side, although it does not contain most animals’ jaws from twisting.

Badgers have a small, broad body with short legs that are used for digging. Their heads are elongated and weasel-like, with tiny ears. The stink badger has a relatively short tail, but the ferret-tail badgers can be 46–51 cm (18–20 in) long, depending on age. Their faces are black with white markings, their bodies are grey with a light-colored stripe running from head to tail, and their legs are dark with light-colored underbellies. They reach a length of approximately 90 cm (35 in), including the tail.

The European badger is the biggest of the badgers; the American badger, hog badger, and honey badger are all smaller and lighter. Stink badgers are much smaller, and ferret-badgers are the tiniest of them all. They weigh between 9 and 11 kg (20 and 24 lb), with some Eurasian badgers weighing 18 kg (40 lb).

The term “badger,” which was first used to describe the European badger (Meles meles), originates from an earlier bageard (16th century) and is said to allude to the white mark on the badger’s forehead. Similarly, bauson ‘badger’ (1375), a variation of bausond’striped, piebald,’ from Old French bausant, baucent ‘id.’, is now obsolete.

Brock (Old English: brocc), (Scots: brock) is a Celtic loanword that means “grey” (cf. Gaelic broc and Welsh broch, all from Proto-Celtic *brokkos). The badger was named after it dug setts (tunnels) by the Proto-Germanic term *ahsuz (cf. German Dachs, Dutch das, Norwegian svintoks; Early Modern English dasse), probably from the PIE root *tek’- “to construct”; the Germanic term *ahsuz became taxus or taxus, -nis in Latin glosses, replacing mls (“marten” or “badger”)

A male European badger is referred to as a boar, while a female is a sow, and a baby badger is a cub. However, in North America, the young are referred to as kits, while adults are referred to as male and female. A cete is a collective word for a group of colonial badgers. However, badger colonies are more commonly referred to as clans. A badger’s den is known as a sett.

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