The Indian mongoose has earned a place in a well-known Indian folk tale for its devotion and fearlessness. Mongoose with more than 20 species is agile , weasel-like animal that are native to Africa Asia and Spain. Mongooses usually live in burrows or hollow trees and eat small animals and fruit. Some are active during the day others at night.
Mongooses range in body length from about 8 to 24 inches tail length is somewhat less. Banded mongooses are small carnivores no more that 12 to 16 inches long and weighing three to five pounds. Similar to look to a weasel or cat mongooses have brown and grey fur marked with dark stripes. Unlike other mongoose species banded mongooses have dark bands across their backs for which they are named. They have five digits on their front paws but only four on their back feet. Also used for digging. Mongoose gives birth up to four times a year one to six young are born each time.
As carnivores most of the time mongooses eat small vertebrates like birds snakes and rats. Their diet also includes invertebrates like beetles or millipedes. They also are known to steal reptile or bird eggs and eat fallen fruit. They don’t seem to need water as much as they need food. When it’s around a mongoose will drink by tapping at the water like a dog or by wetting their paws and then licking the water off. But if water isn’t around they can go for days without it.
The Indian gray mongoose attacks and eats venomous snakes; it is found from the Arabian Peninsula to Nepal. The White-tailed mongoose of Africa cracks open bird’s eggs by throwing them against hard objects. Two other African mongooses are the slender tailed meerkat or suricate and the red meerkat or yellow mongoose. These species live in large colonies often members of both species live in the same colony.
The ichneumon is a mongoose that was revered by the ancient Egyptians. Mongooses are mammals and belong to the family Herpestidae.
When foraging for food mongooses travel with their noses to the ground. When they smell dinner they start digging. They also have excellent senses of sight and hearing. They can see people up to 200 feet away and one mongoose heard the click of a camera 100 feet away.
When confronted with larger predators mongooses will “mob” together and start acting like One huge multi headed monster. A lot of the time this will scare larger animals off but the mongooses will also attack as a mob by biting and clawing as a team
Courtesy THE HINDU YOUNG WORLD