Hog badgers are distributed primarily in Southeast Asia, starting from Sikkim and northeastern China to Thailand. They are found on the Indian subcontinent and the island of Sumatra. Hog badgers do not appear to be migratory from winter to summer. They are also native to both the Palearctic and Oriental regions. There was no evidence suggesting that they are an introduced species. (Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003)
Their fur color ranges from a dark grey to brown, while tail color ranges from white to a light yellow. Two dark stripes are found on the face, and the throat is white in color. The most notable feature is the "pig-like snout" that is used for feeding, along with modified teeth specifically used to move soil. Tail lengths range from 12 cm to 17 cm (120 mm to 170 mm). Another notable feature used to distinguish hog badgers from the closely related Eurasian badgers is the color of their claws. Hog badgers have light-colored claws whereas Eurasian badgers have dark claws. To distinguish between hog badgers, Sumatran hog badgers, and northern hog badgers, there is a difference in skull shape and size. No information was found on the basal metabolic rate of hog badgers. However, Eurasian badgers (a closely related group), have a basal metabolic rate of 1,323 kJ per day. Also, there was little information on sexual dimorphism in hog badgers other than males are larger than females. ("The Free Resource", 2012; Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003; Maslanka, et al., 2010)
There is little information known on the mating system for hog badgers. However, there is some information about the badgers, otters, weasels family. Males begin their sexual seasons before the females, and therefore, initiate breeding. This is often done by first obtaining territory. (Mead, 1989)
The breeding period occurs from April to September, with the gestation period being 5 to 9.5 months long. Their litter size is 2 to 4 cubs. Although there is no information known about the sexual maturity of the two sexes, the information about the badgers, otters, weasels family offers some insight about what might occur for hog badgers, as well. For the badgers, otters, weasels family, females reach sexual maturity after 2 to 3 months, whereas the males do not reach sexual maturity until they are a year old. Also, there is little to know of the time of independence in hog badgers. However, American badgers (a similar species) have a time of independence of 5 to 6 months. ("American Badger - Nature's Digging Machine", 2011; "Human Ageing Genomic Resources", 2009; Edmunds, 2003; Mead, 1989)
Females are the primary caretakers of the young, and wean them for up to 4 months. Currently no information is available regarding specifics of parental care. (Edmunds, 2003)
Hog badgers are a motile solitary species, meaning they are found to travel by themselves. They are also active at night (nocturnal). Hog badgers often burrows into the ground (fossorial) to find food or to create a habitat. (Baker, 2012)
Hog badger home ranges describe a smaller section of the geographical range where it can find a sustaining food source and shelter. Although, there is no known information about the exact territory size of hog badgers, Eurasian badger females have a home range of 12.4 sq km. (Maslanka, et al., 2010)
There is no information known about the communication patterns for hog badgers. However, it is suggested that tactile communication and communication via scents may be used as seen in other species of belonging to the badgers, otters, weasels family. (Edmunds, 2003)
Hog badgers feed on a variety of things based on what is available ranging from plants to worms to small mammals. It is therefore considered an omnivore. It is able to find food using its adapted pig like snout to sense smells. They dig in the ground using their snout, incisors, and canine teeth of their lower jaws. They will also eat fruit, roots and tubers. Its favorite food appears to be terrestrial earthworms. (Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003)
Hog badgers are well suited predators as they possess big claws, strong jaws, flexible skin and nasty tempers. Their coloration pattern is aposematic, meaning it has distinct coloration or patterns to warn other organisms it is dangerous and should be left alone. Hog badgers are great diggers, and can dig out of sight if it feels threatened. Also, they can produce secretions from their anal glands, but it is unknown whether or not that is a defense mechanism. Their only known predators are tigers and leopords. (Edmunds, 2003)
There is little to no known information on the impact of hog badgers on their surrounding ecosystem. However, due to their foraging behaviors, they play some role in controlling the populations of invertebrates. Also, they aerate the soil by digging. Another interesting role they play is creating a habitat for other small animals through abandoned hog badger burrows. ("Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human", 2005; "New World Encylcopedia", 2008; Edmunds, 2003)
There is little known evidence to suggest a positive benefit to humans from hog badgers. However, some groups in India eat hog badgers, and they are hunted and farmed for food in China. In Lao, taste preference for hog badgers varies among ethnic groups. Some groups do not care for their meat, whereas groups in parts of the Nam Theun basin seek them for food. (Timmins, et al., 2008)
There is no known adverse effects of hog badgers on humans. However, its relatives, Eurasian badgers, have been known to carry bovine tuberculosis. There is a possibility that hog badgers could also carry diseases common to livestock. Hog badgers and Eurasian badgers have a similar diet and have been known to damage crops. (Edmunds, 2003)
Hog badgers, in 1996, were listed least concerned. However, their population is decreasing, and they are currently listed as near threatened. In Thailand and India, they are under high protected statuses under law. They are threatened due to the use of hunting dogs in all of Indochina. (Timmins, et al., 2008)
Jacob Toben (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Christopher Yahnke (editor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Laura Podzikowski (editor), Special Projects.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
having coloration that serves a protective function for the animal, usually used to refer to animals with colors that warn predators of their toxicity. For example: animals with bright red or yellow coloration are often toxic or distasteful.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
either directly causes, or indirectly transmits, a disease to a domestic animal
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
in mammals, a condition in which a fertilized egg reaches the uterus but delays its implantation in the uterine lining, sometimes for several months.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
digs and breaks up soil so air and water can get in
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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U.S. National Library of Medicine. Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human. 102(7):2430-5. Shanghai, China: Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A.. 2005. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15695582/.
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Baker, N. 2012. "Ecology Asia" (On-line). Mammals of Southeast Asia: Hog Badger. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/mammals/hog-badger.htm.
Edmunds, T. 2003. "Encyclopedia of Life" (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.
Maslanka, M., A. Moresco, K. Grant, B. Henry, C. Lombardi, J. Reed-Smith. 2010. "Association of Zoos & Aquariums" (On-line pdf). Mustelid (Mustelidae) Care Manual. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.aza.org/uploadedfiles/animal_care_and_management/animal_programs/animal_programs_database/animal_care_manuals/mustelidcaremanual2010a.pdf.
Mead, R. 1989. "Conservation Biology and the Black-Footed Ferret" (On-line pdf). Reproduction in Mustelids. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1joYysFXnrcC&oi=fnd&pg=PA124&dq=behavior+of+arctonyx+collaris+&ots=z6ub8gmt2B&sig=ACZ_oBjdaTRN-a-7Nfh4kZCXktM#v=onepage&q=behavior%20of%20arctonyx%20collaris&f=false.
Timmins, R., B. Long, J. Duckworth, W. Ying-Xiang, T. Zaw. 2008. "Encyclopedia of Life" (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.