Trivia question for May-17-2011

Posted on May 17, 2011 in Trivia

Carter’s turn again and he found one that he thinks will stump you, so here goes:  These guys are ferocious animals and can defend itself against almost any predator.  They have the ability to maneuver within its loose skin to turn aggressively back on an attacker.

Although mostly solitary, these guys may hunt together in pairs during the May breeding season. Little is known of their breeding habits. It is thought that its gestation period lasts six months, usually resulting in two cubs, which are born blind. They vocalize through plaintive whines. Their lifespan in the wild is unknown, though captive individuals have been known to live for approximately 24 years.

So here are Carter’s questions:  These guys have formed a partnership with an animal that leads them to beehives so they can raid them of their honey.  Tell us what that animal is.  Also, tell us the name of these guys and tell us from what Afrikaans word is their name derived?

Good Luck 😉


Wow, we got a lot of answers sent in with this one and all of them (except one) had some of the answers correct and one or two details mixed up with other animals.  The winner of our trivia this time was Marie Zeamer Chittester.  The animal we featured is the Ratel.  The Ratel, also known as the honey badger is native to Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Despite its name, the honey badger does not closely resemble other badger species, instead bearing more anatomical similarities to weasels.

Ratel is an Afrikaans word, possibly derived from the Middle Dutch word for rattle, honeycomb (either because of its cry or its taste for honey). In English it is accented on the first syllable, with the “a” is pronounced either as in “rate” (/ˈreɪtəl/) or as “father” (/ˈrɑːtəl/).  In Africa, a bird called the ‘honeyguide’ often attracts a Ratel’s attention, then leads it to a beehive.  Protected from the bees by its thick skin, the Ratel tears open the hive, so it and the honeyguide can feed on the beeswax, bee larvae and honey within.  Here is more on these fearless carnivores: Ratel

Thanks for playing along 😉