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The badger is a burrowing mammal with a black-and-white striped face. Badgers are nocturnal (most active at night). They are found in tropical forests, plains, woodlands, mountains, and prairies in Asia, Europe, and North America. Badgers have a life span of 11-13 years in captivity. They are closely related to skunks, martens, and weasels.

Some badgers live in groups called clans. These clans construct complex, long-lasting networks of tunnels and chambers called setts. Members of clans communicate using sounds and scents. North American badgers are solitary; European badgers are sociable. Their enemies include people, coyotes, and dogs.

Anatomy: Badgers range in size from 13-31 inches (33-79 cm) long plus a short tail 4-7 inches (10-18 cm) long. The American badger has brown-gray fur, black legs, long, flat feet with long, strong, curved claws, and a distinctively striped face. It weighs up to 37 pounds (17 kg).

Diet: Badgers are omnivores (eating both animals and plants). They eat rodents, frogs, snakes, small mammals, worms, insects and their larvae, fruit, and roots. Badgers burrow for much of their food.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae (weasels, ferrets, minks, skunks, otters, badgers), Genera include Taxidea and Meles.

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