The honey badger has a reputation for being one of the most fearless and relentless animals on Earth.
The honey badger, also known as the ratel, is a mammal widely distributed in Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Because of its wide range and occurrence in a variety of habitats, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
It is the only species in the genus Mellivora and the mustelid subfamily Mellivorinae. Despite its name, the honey badger does not closely resemble other badger species; instead, it bears more anatomical similarities to weasels. It is primarily a carnivorous species and has few natural predators because of its thick skin, strength and ferocious defensive abilities.
The honey badger has a fairly long body but is distinctly thick-set and broad across the back. Its skin is remarkably loose and allows it to turn and twist freely within it. The skin around the neck is 6 millimeters (0.24 in) thick, an adaptation to fighting conspecifics. The head is small and flat, with a short muzzle. The eyes are small, and the ears are little more than ridges on the skin, another possible adaptation to avoiding damage while fighting.
The honey badger is notorious for its strength, ferocity, and toughness. It is known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any other species when escape is impossible, reportedly even repelling much larger predators such as lion and hyena.