Banded Mongoose Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a banded mongoose?
The banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) is a type of mongoose that’s prevalent in South Africa. They prey during the day and travel in packs of 15-20. They have dominant leaders who lead the pack. The females remain in the front with the dominant male following at close quarters.
What class of animal does a banded mongoose belong to?
They belong to the class Mammalia, giving birth to two to six babies. They belong to the order Carnivora and the family Herpestidae, to which various species of mongooses and meerkats belong.
How many banded mongooses are there in the world?
The exact number of banded mongooses living in the world is not known.
Where does a banded mongoose live?
It inhabits semi-arid grasslands, woodlands, and brushlands, riverine areas, rocky terrains. Its range stretches from South Africa, Ethiopia, Gambia, to mostly south of the Sahara.
What is a banded mongoose's habitat?
Their range covers south of the Sahara, barring Congo and southwestern Africa. It covers a wide range and may travel 5 mi (8 km) or more every day looking for food.
They change their dens in a few days or weeks and return to their old favorite dens often and re-use them. Even though they have sharp claws for digging soil, they prefer to live in natural crevices or holes that are made by other animals. They also live in thickets, gullies, rock shelters, and warrens under bushes. These wild animals prefer to live in termite molds with multiple entrances with open undergrowth.
They are found in many of Africa's wildlife-protected areas like the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
Who do banded mongooses live with?
They are social animals. They live in packs of 5-40 members. One dominant male exists in every pack, but some studies suggest they have a matriarchal social structure. Aggression is low within this species. However, there may be occasional fights for food. The packs consist of multiple males as well as females. Packs sleep together in underground dens during the night.
Packs of banded mongoose have a strange arrangement of sleeping when they cannot find suitable dens and face danger from predators like wild dogs. Group members will lie on top of each other with their heads facing outwards and upwards.
Males may show aggression and hierarchical activities when females are in heat. Females usually never show aggression but have a hierarchical structure based on age. The older females usually have larger litters. When packs become too large, some females may be forced to leave the group.
Intergroup relations are not congenial and fights may be deadly. However, breeding females may mate with inter-group males during fights.
How long does a banded mongoose live?
Their lifespan in the wild is about 10 years. In captivity, they may live up to 17 years. The percentage of survival is only 50% beyond three months in the wild.
How do they reproduce?
All the females can breed. The females reach sexual maturity when they are 9-10 months old.
Courtship rituals involve the male chasing and circling the female with his tail raised high. The females are on the heat in about two weeks after the young ones are born. Females are guarded by dominant males and often fight breaks out with the subordinates.
The gestation period lasts up to 70 days. In most cases, all females give birth to pups on the same day or within the gap of few days. Litters range from two to six pups. The young are born blind and have almost no fur. Their eyes open after about 10 days. The young animals live in dens for about four weeks. They are looked after by helpers who are usually young non-breeding males. Sometimes the caregivers are also breeding females and that helps to reduce competition for food among pups. After they are weaned, the young animals go with the pack foraging for food.
What is their conservation status?
According to the ICUN, this mongoose has the status of Least Concern.
Banded Mongoose Fun Facts
What do banded mongooses look like?
They are furry animals with a coarse, brownish-gray coat. They have dark feet, a long bushy tail that is tipped with black. These animals have long dark bands across their back. Both sexes look similar and are also similar in size.
There are five toes on the front feet that have curved, pointed, long claws which they use to find and kill food. The hind leg has four toes with shorter claws.
The young are born blind and almost without hair.
How cute are they?
They are wild animals and cannot be particularly called cuddly and cute like cats or dogs.
How do they communicate?
Within their group, they communicate with each other with discrete sounds. They also secrete scents from their anal glands to mark their territory and also to update their reproductive status.
Their communications are often sound like low calls in a series. When they sense danger, or a predator, they make high-pitched alarm calls.
How big is a banded mongoose?
Compared to warthogs that weigh around 120-250 lb (54-113 kg), a 5 lb (2.3 kg) banded mongoose is 26 times lighter than a warthog. Also, it is 12–18 in (30-45 cm) long.
How fast can a banded mongoose run?
The running speed of this species has not been recorded.
How much does a banded mongoose weigh?
They weigh around 3-5.5 lb (1.5-2.5 kg).
What are the male and female names of the species?
A male and female mongoose does not have any specific names.
What would you call a baby banded mongoose?
A baby mongoose is called a pup.
What do they eat?
They are mostly insectivorous but their diet includes a large variety of other foods like eggs, fruits, birds, snakes, snails, frogs, lizards, etc. Among insects, they eat beetles, earthworms, ants, and they even eat scorpions.
These animals forage in packs, but search for food and eat their prey individually. Being extremely possessive about food, they eat their food right away and there is no concept of food sharing.
Are they aggressive?
Males may show aggression during the breeding season. There is inter-group aggression, but they do not pose any danger to humans. On the contrary, all mongoose species kill snakes.
Would they make a good pet?
It is not a regular pet animal species but can be domesticated if raised from a very young age.
Did you know...
The diet includes poisonous insects with spines. In that case, they will roll their prey in the dirt till the spines or poisonous secretion from their skin wears off.
Extremely social mongoose species are usually smaller compared to solitary mongoose species. As an adaptation, when predators approach a group of banded mongooses, they stick close to each other creating an illusion of a large animal.
What is a group of banded mongooses called?
A group of mongooses is called a pack. The members communicate with each other through constant chatter all through the day.
Banded mongoose and other mammals
Banded mongoose and warthog have a symbiotic relationship. Banded mongooses clean or groom warthogs by eating ticks from their body.
To protect themselves, banded mongooses can show a great deal of aggression. They have been known to attack many larger animals – like monitor lizards, lions, pythons, and baboons – despite which, lions are not afraid of mongooses.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our stoat facts and black-footed ferret facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable banded mongoose coloring pages.