Mellivora capensis (the name means honey eater of the Cape) is the species’ scientific name. “The Cape” is The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, where many reside. Another one of their names is ratel, which is an Afrikaans word that might be derived from the Dutch word for honeycomb, raat.
It’s true that the honey badger has the Guinness Book of World Records title of “World’s Most Fearless Creature,” but they’re more than just audacious: they’re downright mean.
The animals are usually diurnal in winter, but where they need to avoid humans, they’re usually nocturnal.
They eat anything, They’re omnivores who will go after mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, larvae, plants, fruit, eggs, and roots.
They are thick-skinned, there are reports of arrows and spears glancing off their thick, rubbery epidermis. The honey badger may even have a resistance to snake venom and is sometimes able to sleep off a bite, their thick skin comes in handy in this way, too. Snakes compose a quarter of their diets.
Their bite is so powerful they can chomp down with enough force to break the shell of a tortoise.
You might have heard that honey badgers and honeyguide birds have a good partnership going: the honeyguide leads the badger to the hive and then eats up after the honey badger destroys it. Well, honey badgers don’t care and this behaviour in nature is not fully proven, honey badgers are pretty solitary.
Ferocious, fearless, and pugnacious animals aren’t always the smartest, but honey badgers break the mould.
They’re so intelligent that they even use tools.