Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family. Badgers have rather short, fat bodies, with short legs built for digging. They have elongated weasel-like heads with small ears. Their tails vary in length depending on species; the stink badger has a very short tail, while the ferret badger's tail can be 46 to 51 cm long, depending on age. They have black faces with distinctive white markings, gray bodies with a light-coloured stripe from head to tail, and dark legs with light coloured stomachs. They grow to around 89 cm in length including tail. The European badger is one of the largest; the American badger, the hog badger and the honey badger are generally a little smaller and lighter. The stink badgers are smaller still, and the ferret badgers are the smallest of all. They weigh around 9–11 kg on average, with some Eurasian badgers weighing in at around 18 kg.

The diet of the Eurasian badger consists largely of earthworms, insects, and grubs. They also eat small birds, as well as roots and fruit.


Badger ranges
  • Gold = Honey badger
  • Red = American badger
  • Teal = European badger
  • Dark green = Asian badger
  • Lime green = Japanese badger
  • Blue = Chinese ferret-badger
  • Indigo = Burmese ferret-badger
  • Azure = Javan ferret-badger
  • Purple = Bornean ferret-badger

Badger characters are featured in author Brian Jacques' Redwall series, most often falling under the title of Badger Lord or Badger Mother, and the 19th century poem "The Badger" by John Clare describes a badger hunt and badger-baiting. The character Frances in Russell Hoban's children's books is depicted as a badger. A badger god is featured in The Immortals by Tamora Pierce and "The Badger" is a comic book hero created by Mike Baron. Trufflehunter is a heroic badger in the Chronicles of Narnia book Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis. In Lafcadio Hearn's book Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things there is a short story titled Mujina, which is a shapeshifting badger.