What Do Honey Badgers Eat?

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Honey badgers are a widely distributed member of the mustelid family (weasels, beavers, badgers, and ferrets) that are known for their ferocity and stubbornness. Although their name gives us some hints as to their diet, honey badgers are less picky than most other members of the weasel family. Let’s take a look at these interesting creatures and learn: what do honey badgers eat?

What do honey badgers eat?

Honey badgers eat honey, bee larvae, insects, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, berries, roots, and more. Although honey badgers are omnivores, their diet is primarily that of a carnivore. These sturdy creatures are known for their lack of dietary specialization, feeding on whatever they can catch, scavenge, or forage.

Since these animals are widely distributed across Africa, Asia, and India, their specific diets are representative of their region, but there are still some general consistencies among all of them. Honey badgers get their name from their preferred food choice – honey and bee larvae. They are known to raid hives on a regular basis, giving credence to their name.

Their main calorie source is small vertebrates, however. They are known to eat frogs, lizards, turtles, rodents, snakes, and birds with regularity. In a study at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, they were reported to get around 50% of their food exclusively from geckos and skinks. In another study of Kalahari-based badgers, 40% of their prey came from gerbils and mice.

Additionally, badgers eat snakes, frogs, and turtles with regularity. In fact, honey badgers are specially adapted to eat venomous snakes. They are known to kill and eat cobras, rock pythons, and even black mambas (regarded as the most dangerous snake in the world).

Aside from other animals, honey badgers also forage for plant material. Their diet includes berries, roots, bulbs, insects, and bark. While they do eat plant material, they generally prefer meat. Killing small prey is their preferred survival strategy, and they are rather adept at doing so.

A complete list of foods honey badgers eat
Here is a complete list of foods that honey badgers eat:

mice
rats
springhares
gerbils
frogs
turtles
lizards
geckos
skinks
tortoises
snakes
birds
eggs
honey
bee larvae
insects
berries
roots
bulbs
bark
sheep
goats
chickens
How do honey badgers get their food?

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