Badger, common name for any of several stout carnivores, most of them members of the weasel family (Mustelidae), that are found in various parts of the world and are known for their burrowing ability. The species differ in size, habitat, and coloration, but all are nocturnal and possess anal scent glands, powerful jaws, and large, heavy claws on their forefeet, which are used to dig for food and construct underground dens. The American badger (Taxidea taxus) feeds mostly on rodents, but Old World species are omnivorous. Badgers are classified into six genera. Some, especially the American badger, are hunted for their pelts.
Badgers are short-legged omnivores mostly in the family Mustelidae (which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels, and ferrets), but also with two species called “badgers” in the related family Mephitidae (which also includes the skunks). Badgers are a polyphyletic grouping, and are not a natural taxonomic grouping: badgers are united by their squat bodies, adapted for fossorial activity. All belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals.