Mongoose is a small carnivorous mammal with a long body and tail and a grizzled or banded coat, native to Africa and Asia.
The mongoose is a small animal but an excellent hunter, with keen senses of smell, sight and hearing, and remarkable reflexes. They hunt insects and small animals such as mice, rats, rabbits, lizards and snakes, including one of the most dangerous creatures on Earth - the dreaded King cobra. They are largely immune to the venom of scorpions and snakes, although repeated stings or strikes may sicken and even kill them.
The mongoose is an omnivore, meaning that mongoose eat both plants and animals.
There are thought to be around 30 different species of mongoose, some of which will only fend for themselves while other species of mongoose work together as a team.
The numerous species of mongooses have many different lifestyles and reproductive strategies. Some live in groups where only the alpha male and female will reproduce.
Other species live in larger colonies where the females have synchronized estrus cycles. All the females will mate with the most dominant males and they will all give birth within hours of each other.
A few mongoose species are solitary animals with males and females only coming together to mate once a year. The male may stay to help raise the litter of 2 to 6 babies called pups, or the female may raise her pups alone.
Intersting things about Mongooses
- The mongoose has horizontal pupils.
- Mongooses can live for up to 20 years in captivity.
- Mongooses live in burrows and are nondiscriminatory predators.
- Indian mongooses groom each other.
- Mongooses are active during the day and sleep at night.
- Large groups of mongoose are called colonies.