Go, Badgers!

March 24, 2017

John James Audubon (best known for his double-elephant folio Birds of America) drew a sharp distinction between the North American badger and the European badger. One difference, easily seen in these illustrations of both, is the relationship of the eyes to the dark or white stripes.

North American badger:

American badger. From Audubon’s Viviparous quadrupeds of North America, vol. 1 (1845). Thordarson Collection, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

European badger:

European badger, from Edward Topsell, The historie of foure-footed beastes (London, 1607). Also from the Thordarson Collection.

Most illustrations of our own Bucky Badger show clearly that he is a North American badger (eyes in the white stripes, not the dark ones). For an assortment of photos and illustrations of Bucky over time, see images from University Archives in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Collection within the UW Digital Collections: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/UW.UWMadison.

Boxing Bucky (1965):

Boxing Bucky (1965). From University Archives. In the UW-Madison Collection, identifier x25-1726, Digital Collections of the UW-Madison Libraries.