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Badger

informal group of mammals, use Q10328397 for Melinae

Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the families Mustelidae, and Mephitidae. They are not a natural taxonomic grouping, but are united by possession of a squat body adapted for fossorial activity. All belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals. The 11 species of mustelid badgers are grouped in four subfamilies: Melinae, Helictidinae, Mellivorinae, and Taxideinae ; the respective genera are Arctonyx, Meles, Melogale, Mellivora and Taxidea. Badgers include the most basal mustelids; the American badger is the most basal of all, followed successively by the ratel and Melinae; the estimated split dates are about 17.8, 15.5 and 14.8 million years ago, respectively. The two species of Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included within Melinae, but more recent genetic evidence indicates these are actually members of the skunk family.

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