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Difference Between Badger and Wolverine

Badger vs Wolverine

Pop culture has made both the terms wolverine and badger legendary: wolverine, often identified as the razor-clawed member of X-men and badger, featured in a flash cartoon that became one of the top internet fads of all time. Moreover, these two are more than participants of pop culture.

The wolverine and the badger are furry and stocky mammals coming from the Mustelidae (Weasel) family. They are nocturnal species found in wintry districts. The wolverine, also known as skunk Bear, devil bear, carcajou, and glutton, live in the isolated north, particularly in Alaska, Siberia, Scandinavia, Russia, Baltic countries, Northern regions of Canada, China and Mongolia. On the other hand, badger, also referred to as brock, reside in North America, Ireland, Great Britain, Southern Scandinavia, Eastern Japan and China. Although both species are well-geared to survive extremely cold climate, some physical variations between the two are apparent.

The wolverine, being the largest terrestrial mustelid, is more muscular and can weigh up to 80 pounds with a length of up to 36 inches. It can easily resemble a bear. Its fur is thicker, oilier and more highly hydrophobic, making it resistant to water and frost. The badger, however, is hardly half the wolverine’s mass at 15-30 pounds, with a length of up to 30 inches. A badger’s fur is less resilient to frost, but it has devised an underground habitat called ‘sett’ to increase its survival from the cold. Also, what it lacks in size, it makes up for volume. Badgers are grouped in highly social clans of up to 13 adult members, while wolverines are generally solitary.

Moreover, they are both territorial by nature and are well-known for scent-marking their territories and food with musky anal secretions. Both species have infamous reputation for ferociousness and strength; in some accounts, they are even considered the two toughest members of the Weasel family. But the wolverine is indubitably more energetic, clever, elusive and receptive as compared to the badger, which, in turn, excels in physical versatility in ways of digging, swimming and climbing. In terms of hunting and diet, the wolverine, a carnivore, is more accustomed to taking medium-sized mammals like deer, sheep, and small bears for its prey.

Furthermore, its fierceness and strength out of proportion to its size allows it to take prey on those of many times its size, moose for instance. In contrast, the badger’s diet is mostly dependent on earthworms, insects, rodents, grubs, amphibians by digging. Its speed equips it to acquire fast-moving mammals as rabbits and small variations of reptiles and birds above ground, in water or on trees. Being omnivorous, it also feeds on fruits and roots. However, despite its hunting disposition, starvation, along parasitic damage, proves to be the main cause of death in adult badgers.

The average badger can live only up to two years; some may reach up to eight years. The wolverine outdoes it with an average lifespan of 17 staggering years. Nonetheless, both the wolverine and the badger now sadly belong to the list of endangered animals due to exploitation of valuable parts, particularly fur.


1. Both the wolverine and the badger belong to the Mustelidae. They are nocturnal hunters, considered as the two fiercest and toughest members of their kind.

2. The wolverine is more massive, more resistant to frost and more outfitted to hunt on mammals many times its size.

3. The badger, although smaller in structure, is more agile in digging, swimming and climbing. Thus, well-set in hunting underground, above-ground, on trees and on water.

4. Despite a significant difference in the two species’ lifespan, both are now considered endangered due to abusive use of their fur.

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