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The Amazing Mongoose

Updated on June 27, 2016

There are many different species of Mongooses. They are strange creatures that come in different sizes ranging from 1 foot to 4 feet. They will weigh anywhere from 10 ounces to 9 pounds.

They usually have a dark brown body and the hair around their face will often be lighter brown. Their paws are small with claws that are sharp and their tail is bushy.

Most of the Mongoose live in Africa, but some are found in Europe, Asia, and Hawaii.

They live under the ground in burrows that they dig. They usually have tunnel systems under the ground connecting their burrows. They will have many openings in these tunnels.

Some mongoose live alone and some live in groups. The groups will all have a male that is dominating and a female that is dominating.

The mongoose is always watching out for predators. When the lookouts spot danger they will give a loud call or whistle to alert everyone to get underground. The guards work 1 hour shifts. When a mongoose is on guard duty, they often stand on their hind legs for a better view of the area.

The Indian Gray Mongoose

 Indian Gray Mongoose By J.M. Garg CC BY-SA 3.0
Indian Gray Mongoose By J.M. Garg CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Indian Gray Mongoose's scientific name is Herpestes edwardsii.

The Indian Gray Mongoose is found in Sri Lanka and parts of India. They are also found in Iran, Saudi Arabia and China.

They will be found living near humans. They also like thick vegetation and farmland.

They will make their dens in holes, burrows and sometimes under rocks. They will be found living alone or in pairs. They are never found very far from their den even though they are a curious creature.

The Indian Gray Mongoose is 14 to 17 inches long, and their tail will be 17 inches long. They are great at climbing because they have great balance. They usually weigh 2 to 4 pounds. Their body is a tawny grayish brown, and their belly is lighter colored.

The Indian Gray Mongoose will eat rats, mice, small birds, bird eggs, invertebrates and lizards. They are able to kill a cobra which is hard to do and rare.

They are preyed on by leopards, and snakes. The Indian Gray Mongoose is very good at defending themselves against predators.

The female will have 2 to 5 babies.

The Indian Gray Mongoose is not considered endangered at this time.

The Ruddy Mongoose

 Ruddy Mongoose By ChrisHodgesUK CC BY-SA 3.0
Ruddy Mongoose By ChrisHodgesUK CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Ruddy Mongoose's scientific name is Herpestes smithil.

You will find them living in India and Sri Lanka. The Ruddy Mongoose is usually found in hills and forests. They like areas whee they can hide.

An adult Ruddy Mongoose is 15.3 to 18.6 inches long, and their tail is 13 to 14.2 inches long. They will weigh 2 to 4 pounds. Their body has brown fur on it with white and black specks. Their tail has a black tip.

The Ruddy Mongoose is an aggressive little creature. They are capable of killing a cobra without getting hurt themselves.

The Ruddy Mongoose eats snakes, lizards, rodents and carrion.

The Ruddy Mongoose is not endangered and in many areas they are considered pests. They are often kept as pets. It is illegal to take them to other countries for the pet trade.

The Striped Necked Mongoose

Striped Necked Mongoose By Yathis sk CC BY-SA 3.0
Striped Necked Mongoose By Yathis sk CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Striped Necked Mongoose's scientific name is Herpestes vitticollis.

The Striped Necked Mongoose lives in Sri Lanka and India. They like wooded areas. They are the largest mongoose living in Asia.

The Striped Necked Mongoose is 17 to 21 inches long, and their tail is 16 inches long. The Striped Necked Mongoose will weigh 3 to 6 pounds. They are dark brown, gray-yellow or orange-yellow in color.

The female Striped Necked Mongoose will have 2 to 3 babies. The Striped Necked Mongoose moves around during the day. The Striped Necked Mongoose likes to be near the water, and they like to be alone.

They will eat crabs, birds, mouse deer, fish, frogs, grubs, insects and roots.

The Striped Necked Mongoose does not like being around people.

At this time the Striped Necked Mongoose is not considered endangered.

The Water Mongoose

 Water Mongoose By Derek Keatr CC BY-SA 2.0
Water Mongoose By Derek Keatr CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

The Water Mongoose is found in many areas of Africa that get a lot of rain. They are also known as the Marsh Mongoose. The Water Mongoose likes to live near rivers, streams and along the coast. They like to rest in rocky areas near water.

The Water Mongoose is 800 to 1,000mm long. They will weigh 2.5 to 4.2kg. They have a long tail that is 300 to 400mm long. Their body is a dark brown and their nose is lighter colored. They have long shaggy hairs on their tail.

They will eat crabs, prawns, fish and frogs. They will also eat cane rats, and blue duiker. No one knows for sure if the Water Mongoose kills these animals, or they find them already dead.

The female Water Mongoose will make her nest in a hole using dry grass. If there are no holes the female will build her nest using reeds, grass and sticks. The female will have 2 babies. The baby's eyes will open when they are 10 days old.

They like to be alone. They are an aquatic animal, and they move around at night.

The White-tailed Mongoose

White-tailed Mongoose By McSchaeffer CC BY-SA 3.0
White-tailed Mongoose By McSchaeffer CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The White-tailed Mongoose's scientific name is chneumia albucauda.

You will find them living in South Africa. They like to live in very wet woodlands and savannas.

The adult White-tailed Mongoose is considered the largest mongoose species. They are 1.1m long and weigh 4.3kg. Their body is covered with dark-gray fur. They have long white hairs on their tail. They have black legs and their front legs look shorter than the back legs.

The White-tailed Mongoose likes to eat termites, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets. They will also on occasion prey on amphibians, rodents and snakes.

They will usually live alone, but will sometimes live in small groups.

Not much is known about the White-tailed Mongoose because they are very secretive and only move around at night.

The Meerkat

Meerkat By Jonchem Huber CC BY-SA 2.0
Meerkat By Jonchem Huber CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Meerkats are called Suricates. They are a small member of the mongoose family. They are found living in Africa.

Suricates are meat eaters. They live in the plains of Southern Africa. They are 10 to 14 inches long, and their tail is 7 to 19 inches long.

When Suricate babies are born, they are blind and have very little hair. When they are 1-month-old, they will leave their burrow.

The babies are very playful most of the time. Their older brothers and sisters and parents spend a lot of time with them. They will groom and play with the babies. They will be fully grown when they are 12-month-old.

The Suricates are known for standing on their hind legs watching for danger. They are preyed on by hawks and eagles. If the look outs see danger, they will let out a shrill, loud cry and everyone scrambles for their burrows.

The Suricates will never get very far from their burrow when they are looking for food. They will look for insects and larvae on the ground. They will also eat mice and lizards.


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    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks for comment. The are amazing little creatures.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I never realized that there were so man mongoose in the world. They are beautiful, and it seems that they have no problem eradicating pests.


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