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ratel(rāt`əl): see honey badgerhoney badger
, carnivore, Mellivora capensis, of the forest and brush country of Africa, the Middle East, and India; it is a member of the badger and skunk family.
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(Mellivora capensis), also honey badger, a predatory mammal of the family Mustelidae. The body length of the male measures 68-75 cm, and the weight 12-16 kg; the females are smaller. The body is elongated and close to the ground. The legs are short and broad, with long strong claws adapted for digging. The ratel lives on open plains and often on the lower slopes of mountains in Africa, Southwest Asia, the western part of Middle Asia, and India. In the USSR it is found in Turkmenia. It feeds on small vertebrates and insects and lives in burrows it has dug. Its numbers are few everywhere.