What is a DWARF MONGOOSE?
The dwarf mongoose is a carnivore with a small frame living in packs. They are extremely playful and social animals that live in African areas.
The coat of a brown-furred mongoose can vary in color but they are mostly speckled with black and brown patches. Their tails and lower legs are typically lighter with slightly paler undersides.
These turtles have been sizing up their tails in our yards nowadays, but they do so on a much smaller scale. Males are 11.4 ounces and females are slightly smaller than that.
Dwarf mongooses are found in countries of Somalia and Ethiopia, eastern South Africa, Namibia, and even as high as 5,900 feet! They live in savannahs, woodlands, and mountains. They are often found at sea level or lower than that: from 1,800 meters above sea to as little as 600. They prefer territories that include termite mounds or rock crevices and woody vegetation, such as thickets or scattered bush.
Mongooses are weird! Their anal and cheek gland secretions form a waterproof marking that alerts other mongooses to species-specific areas of high concentration. They then stay near these refugees for an extended period.
Mongooses are small but ferocious mammals, about 25 cm in length. Mongooses primarily eat insects and other animals. They use their sharp claws to injure prey. Mongooses do not drink water themselves and obtain fluids from food, prey, or from licking the sweat from the salty fur on their bellies when it gets too hot.
The circular feet of the mongoose act as paddles to move through water, and it is a proficient swimmer. Mongooses typically live in warm tropical environments where temperatures range from. Mongooses have an extremely low body temperature, with some individuals able to tolerate cold conditions.
Mongooses are small members of the mongoose family which they are known for their deftness with climbing. They hunt and catch prey primarily by biting to the head, while they stay up close to the ground. Their lifestyle is similar to that of grazing, which means they gather food throughout their territory as a group but also individually stake out their areas as well.
The average pack of dwarf mongooses includes 12-32 animals. Typically, they’re smaller in wetter areas than in drier areas. Territory changes are common, often being passed down through generations of the pack. Mongooses are matrilineal, and the highest-ranking mongoose in a pack is typically an older, dominant female. The next ranked animal is the dominant female’s mate, while the monogamous pair are the only breeders in the group.
Females, especially females between the ages of 10 and 15, are dominant over males. They clean, carry and feed juveniles, take turns watching them and occasionally nurse others. Females other than the alpha will do these things sometimes too.
Despite not being very successful at breeding, mongooses still have an important role in their environment. Their groups tend to stay together and only disperse when one of the females dies. This behavior might happen because the habitat is usually crowded and it’s hard for them to find other places to live.
Not only do non-breeders move from their natal pack, but the more dominant ones will often crossbreed with the dominant members of other packs for a better chance of reproducing. They’ll typically remain in that group until six years of age during the summers when they will transfer back to their natal pack.
If you have large animals living in your yard and they live close, you are going to have some issues when it comes to how you share the area with them. While many groups of animals cooperate and share territories peacefully, other groups actively compete with each other. When conflicts arise, these problems are largely based on territory borders.
Reproduction and Development
Mongoose litters are typically born 3-4 times per year during the rainy season, and they may begin eating solid food after 45 days. Gestation lasts around 49-56 days, with an average litter size of four. Nursing lasts 45 days, but mongooses can often care for themselves even at a young age.
Juveniles start participating in foraging groups around 6 months of age & reach full sexual maturity at about 3, sometimes 4 years of age, while a female may live to be 12 years old, or more.
Dwarf Mongooses are diurnal. They reluctantly begin and end each day by sunbathing and socializing with the pack.
Mongooses are a split species of small, African ground dog with a tail that often has bristles. They have mutated genes that allow them to live up to 18 years, making them the longest living member of the canid family & since they mostly interact with other non-human animals they need only eat fruit and leaves instead of hunting their prey.