Ratel ( Mellivora capensis )
Ratel - Ratel information - Ratel facts
The ratel is a dark brown coloured animal with big grey spot all over the back reaching up to the head. It has got an extremely thick fur that protects the ratel even against bee stings. It is 60-80 cm (21-32 in) long with a tail measuring about 25 cm (10 in). On average its weight is 11 kg (24 lb).
Mellivora capensis is a terrestrial animal distributed in sub-Saharan region and in some parts of Asia including Nepal, India etc. It feeds on mammals, carrion, snakes, rodents but also insects, roots, fruit and honey. Prey can be easily killed by using its sharp and long claws. Its life expectancy is about 24 years.
The Ratel has got a very fascinating relationship with the Black-throated Honeyguide. These two animals help each other. When a honeyguide finds a bee-nest it makes a specific sound which attracts ratels in that area. Consequently, the ratel protected by its fur destroys the nest and feeds on honey and a honeyguide can easily enjoy eating the wax in the honeycomb.