Ever wondered what a dragon and a fly have in common? How about a fox and a squirrel? A prairie and a dog?

We wonder these things, too! Turns out, sometimes, two very different creatures can collide in name only to form ONE AMAZING ANIMAL.

Now, we’re getting to the bottom of these smash-ups with a new series called Hoot’s VENNIMALS. Using everybody’s favorite diagram, Hoot reveals the spectacular beasts born with the names of two otherwise unconnected things.

Meet the Honey Badger

A honey badger holding two halves of a snake.

More marten than badger and not nearly sweet as honey, honey badgers eat (and survive the bites of) some of our planet’s most toxic venomous snakes. With nearly a quarter of their diet devoted to snakes, honey badgers avoid the certain demise faced by most other animals with the help of special venom receptors in their cells—a superpower antivenom method curiously shared by hedgehogs and domestic pigs.

Check our references!

Drabeck, D.H., et al. (2015). Why the honey badger don’t care: Convergent evolution of venom-targeted nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mammals that survive venomous snake bites. Toxicon, Volume 99, pages 68-72 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.03.007.