Fun African Mongoose Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun African Mongoose Facts For Kids

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Mongooses are one of the most adorable creatures. While they are known for their fierce hunting skills they are also very friendly towards humans. The African mongoose belongs to the family Herpestidae. They are mostly found in Africa and most of the species of mongoose are native to Africa their range also extends to southern Asia and the Iberian peninsula. They live in a group and form a hierarchy chain. The breeding male and female hold the top position and the first young pup holds the next position and so on.

They typically live in burrows and their diet mainly consists of rodents, snakes, birds, and berries. To know more about the African mongoose keep reading and do check out our other articles on Asian palm civet and Malayan civet.

Fun African Mongoose Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Rodents, frogs, insects, worms, birds, snakes, eggs, fish, berries, roots, nuts, and seeds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.1-11 lb (0.5-5 kg)

How long are they?

Dwarf mongoose: 7-10 in (18-26 cm) Tail length: 4.7-8 in(12-20 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray or brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Hawks, Leopards, Jackals, Maribou Storks

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Woodlands, Forests, Semi Arid Areas


Africa, Southern Europe, Southern Asia




Depends on the species





African Mongoose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African mongoose?

The African mongoose is a type of small mammal of the Herpestidae family.

What class of animal does an African mongoose belong to?

The African mongoose belongs to the Mammalia class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many African mongooses are there in the world?

It is hard to pull out the exact population size of this mongoose mainly found in Africa. There are 33 species of African mongoose in 14 different genera. However, most of them are in the Least Concern category meaning their population is stable.

Where does an African mongoose live?

The African mongoose species live in the whole of Africa. Some of the groups are found in forests while other groups live in woodland and Paris and semi arid regions. Their range also extends to southern Asia.

What is an African mongoose's habitat?

The range of African mongoose extends from woodlands to semi arid areas in Africa. They are also found in forests. They mainly live in burrows or even in trees. The exact preference is based on the species. For instance, the white tailed mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda) dwells in semi desert and savannah regions. It stays away from damp regions or arid areas. While the yellow mongoose prefers semi arid regions. They also favor grasslands, scrubs, and mountainous areas.

Who do African mongooses live with?

Who they live with also depends on the species. Some of the mongoose species are extremely social and live in large groups while others might live in pairs or even alone. Banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula), and meerkats (Suricata suricatta) live in large groups of at least 50 members.

How long does an African mongoose live?

While most of the mongoose species live between 5-15 years some species like the dwarf mongoose (Helogale paruvala) and banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) can live up to 18 years in captivity. They do better in captivity, in the wild they might live up to 10 years or even as low as six years.

How do they reproduce?

The African mongoose, like all other mammalian species, reproduces by giving birth to live young. Mates recognize one another by giggling. The mongooses may mate at any time of year, although they prefer March to May and October to December. They begin to mate after they reach sexual maturity, which occurs between the ages of nine months and two years. There isn't a lot of information available on the courting and mating process. When the mating is over, the female mongooses carry the young for 41-105 days. They give birth to pups, anywhere between one and four in burrows or tunnels. The pups are blind and will have to rely on their mother for the next three weeks. Females, together with their companions, would look after the pups and feed them milk. Their parental group is comparable to that of humans. The puppies will learn to obtain food and protect themselves during this time. They emerge from the burrows once they have learned all of this. They develop deep ties with their moms and remain close to them even as adults.

What is their conservation status?

Almost all of the African mongoose species, as per the IUCN are placed in the Least Concern category. This is due to the wider population and easily adaptable nature.

African Mongoose Fun Facts

What do African mongooses look like?

Mongoose may be identified by their long faces and bodies. While the size and characteristics of each species vary, most of them are brown or gray brown. Their small legs are equipped with strong, non retractable claws that aid in hunting and digging. They have rounded ears and a pointed snout. They have ovular pupils, and the color of their eyes varies between species. Mongooses have huge anal and scent glands that they utilize to communicate.

Fact about African banded Mongooses

How cute are they?

The fur, colors, and cute markings on their body are all cute.

How do they communicate?

Mongoose communicate in a variety of ways. Depending on the nature of the call, certain species will be louder and emit a series of sounds. The remainder of them communicates through secretions from the anal glands. When a mongoose wants to communicate, it emits a scent that others can smell. To identify their area, they also leave urine tracts.

How big is an African mongoose?

Dwarf mongoose species is the smallest measuring 7-10 in (18-26 cm) in length with a tail length of 4.7-8 in (12-20 cm). The white tailed mongoose is the largest, measuring 21-28 in (53-71 cm) in length with a tail length of 16-21 in (40-54cm).

How fast can an African mongoose move?

This mongoose species can be very quick. They have rapid reflex reactions. The top speed reached by the African mongooses is 20 mph (32 kph).

How much does an African mongoose weigh?

The white tailed mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda) is said to be the heaviest. It weighs between 4-11.5 lb (1.8-5.2 kg). There are other mongooses that weigh less like the gray meerkat (Suricata suricatta) 1.4-2.1 lb (0.62-0.97 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male mongoose species and female mongoose species do not have any specific names. They are simply referred to by the species names or as mongooses.

What would you call a baby African mongoose?

The young African mongoose is called a pup.

What do they eat?

The mongoose is a versatile eater. It selects alternatives based on what is available. It is an omnivore and tends to eat both plants and other animals. Rodents, frogs, insects, worms, birds, snakes, eggs, fish, berries, roots, nuts, and seeds are all part of their diet. Due to their outstanding hunting abilities, they are extremely unlikely to be hunted. However, predators like jackals, leopards, hawks, and maribou storks can sometimes overpower them.

Are they loud?

Depending on the environment, they may be rather noisy. When they're pleased or thrilled, they emit high pitched sounds, whereas when they're afraid or uncomfortable, they make deep growls.

Would they make a good pet?

Despite being a fierce hunter the behavior of a mongoose towards humans is not alarming. They are rather friendly. Some species can be easily tamed. However, they are known to bite sometimes. It is rare for this to happen but when it does it causes a great deal of pain and can cause streptococcal sepsis. As long as you are careful around them they might be a good pick. Some of them give off smelly scents which are intolerable.

Did you know...

African mongooses are often called meerkats.

All mongooses have the same diet, which may vary depending on food availability.

Some species of mongoose can be semi aquatic.

The venom of snakes does not have an effect on mongooses. This is due to the presence of a specialized receptor, acetylcholine.

These intelligent animals break the shell of eggs by throwing them at a hard surface by standing on the hind legs.

The yellow mongoose is also called the read meerkat. Most mongooses, like the Egyptian mongoose and yellow mongoose, are diurnal. The adult Egyptian mongoose either live in pairs or alone, they avoid groups. The Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) is the easiest to tame.

African mongoose types

There is a variety of African mongoose species, with 33 species in 14 different genera. They have many differences which easily help us identify the species of mongoose. Marsh mongooses (Atilax paludinosus) communicate by emitting a low growl when threatened and a high pitched squeak when excited. When it is in distress is curled up like a ball. Banded mongooses do not make a lot of noise. Instead, it secrets scents from its anal and cheek glands to send messages. The white tailed mongoose has a nice fluffy tail while the dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) is short and has an even shorter tail.

Do mongooses lay eggs?

Mongooses are terrestrial mammals. All mammals reproduce by giving birth to live offspring.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Borneo elephant facts, or Asian elephant facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African mongoose coloring pages.

Written By
Abinaya Raj

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