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Badger

Badger

Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the family Mustelidae which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines. The 11 species of badger are grouped in three subfamilies: Melinae, Mellivorinae and Taxideinae (the American badger). The Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included within Melinae, but recent genetic evidence indicates these are actually members of the skunk family, placing them in the taxonomic family Mephitidae. Badgers include the species in the genera Meles, Arctonyx, Taxidea and Mellivora. Their lower jaws are articulated to the upper by means of transverse condyles firmly locked into long cavities of the skull, so dislocation of the jaw is all but impossible. This enables the badgers to maintain their hold with the utmost tenacity, but limits jaw movement to hinging open and shut, or sliding from side to side without the twisting movement possible for the jaws of most mammals.

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