Natural History

North America’s Top 10 Most Fearsome Predators

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American Badger
Donald A Higgs/Getty Images

American Badger

Not particularly suited to running down potential victims, the badger prefers open grasslands with abundant prey. Think of these hunting grounds as the badger equivalent of the supermarket, with plenty of his favorite treats ... like mice, squirrels, and groundhogs.

Blessed (or cursed, depending on your tastes) with stocky, low-slung bodies and short, powerful legs, he is well known for his huge foreclaws, so he hangs in areas with sandy loam soil where the digging is easy.

He loves to hunt by night, but will take on day work when food is scarce.

He doesn't hibernate, but (like many of us) slows down drastically in winter. A badger is often a squatter ... using abandoned burrows of other animals such as foxes or animals similar in size.

One last thing, some badgers hunt in cahoots with coyotes. Really!

Coyotes are very bad at digging rodents out of their burrows, but they run great.

Badgers run poorly, but are well adapted to digging.

When they team up, it's a nightmare for small mammals.

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