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Common Name: Brown Tailed Mongoose

Scientific Name: Salanoia concolor

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Eupleridae

Genus: Salinoia

Species: S. concolor


The mongoose is a member of the family of small cat-like carnivores. They have long faces and bodies, short legs, small rounded ears, and long tapered tails. They usually have brownish or grayish fur, although, some have other markings or stripes. The mongoose lives in southern Asia, southeast Asia, Africa, and Madagascar. Some species have been introduced to southern Europe, as well as some Caribbean and Hawaiian islands. There are 39 species that are all similar in shape. Their size can range from 3½ - 4 feet long to the dwarf mongoose which is the smallest and grows to a maximum of 7 - 10 inches.


They occupy a wide range of habitats from lowland to highland, forest to the bush, and savanna to semi-desert. There is a water mongoose and crab-eating mongoose that gets most of their food from the water. Most mongooses live on the ground. There are few species that occasionally climb trees. Most are active by day, however, there are a few species that are active both day and night. In some regions, the mongoose is abundant in population. Many were introduced to areas to control the snake and rat population. The mongoose has become responsible for the extinction of many animals. Some areas will trap the mongooses to control the population.


The mongoose is a carnivore and is at the top of the food chain in their ecosystem. Their diet consists of mice, rats, birds, reptiles, snakes frogs, worms, and insects. Some eat seeds, nuts, and fruit when other things aren’t available. Their speed and retractable sharp claws pierce a predator’s body. They attack and kill snakes and eat them, as well as eggs which they crack against a rock or other hard object. The main predator of the mongoose is the king cobra. However, the mongoose is skilled to kill the cobra. Some species of mongooses have a high number of predators. The two main types of predators are birds of prey and ground predators. The highest risk is the brown harrier eagle.

The mongoose has a well-developed sense of smell to detect predators. The can also have a guard on duty that will give warning calls to a group. Sometimes they will hide in a shelter which isn’t as successful as forming a group to attack the predator. What I learned and what stood out in my mind as I researched the mongoose is the fact that they are famous for attacking and killing venomous snakes such as king cobras. There is a story based on the mongoose called Rikki-tikki-tavi, by Rudyard Kipling. They are very intelligent and can be domesticated and taught many tricks. They are forbidden from the U.S. because of their threat to the ecosystem.

Author: Bailee S.

Published: 03/2009

Resources 1. World Book Encyclopedia (2005) World Book Inc. 2. Wikipedia.or/wiki/Mongoose 3.

Photo credit: 4.






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