Biologists at the University of Utah have caught on camera a badger which struggled to bury a cow carcass. Specialists claim that this is strange since the badger tried to conserve a meal bigger than itself. The video together with a new study was published on Friday, March 31. The small badger struggled for a while to bury the big carcass.
- Scientists in Utah were developing a new study about scavengers in Great Britain.
- They revealed a badger which carried and buried a cow carcass, visiting it for a while.
- Researchers claim that this is the first time when they saw a badger burying a meal bigger than itself.
This new behavior indicates that badgers seem to have no limit when it comes to the size of their prey, being able to store remains a lot bigger than they are. They bury the bodies and consume them later. Ethan Frehner, the first author of this paper, argued that scientists have a lot of data about badger from a genetic and a morphological point of view, but they never revealed such behavior. Now, they need to investigate more and find out an explanation.
At first, the research project was developed to analyze the ecology of scavengers in Great Britain, but researchers did not intend to examine the behavior of badgers. Evan Buechley, one of the researchers who took part in the study, noticed that one of the carcasses which were used by them was missing. After a while, researchers revealed that the ground around the area where the carcass used to be had been disturbed.
Buechley decided to download the video material and photos taken by the study’s camera. Even if they did not intend to study badgers, they were intrusive and, somehow, they let scientists want to examine their behavior. The videos captured how the badger managed to bury a cow carcass weighing about 50 pounds, struggling for five days and then it went back to the burrow from time to time until the beginning of March. Based on the data provided by researchers, badgers bury their prey to isolate their food resources from other scavengers.
They also bury it to make sure it will last longer, conserving them as if they are putting the carcasses into a fridge. Scientists claimed that this study underlines how little data they have about scavengers and how impressive is their behavior, having a lot more information to reveal. The new study is available on the Western North American Naturalist website.
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