Native to warm areas of the Old World Mongoose Animal were formerly classified with the civets in the family Viverridae, but are now classified in a separate family – the Herpestidae. Mongoose Animal Together with the Malagasy carnivores, they are thought to be closely related to hyenas.
Most Mongoose Animal are smaller than civets; they are shorter tailed and are more uniformly coloured. Their anal scent glands are also more complex, with the scent secretion being stored in an external sac. Mongooses have elongated bodies and short legs for movement over the ground.
These animals live in complex social groups and are generally active during the day. Opportunistic mongooses have a wide ranging diet that includes plant and animal material: they prey on invertebrates, small mammals, frogs, and reptiles – including snakes. It was once thought that mongooses evade envenomation by skilful manoeuvre when tackling snake prey, but some species have exhibited resistance to snake venom. Their effectiveness at controlling snakes and rodents led to their introduction into places as far afield as Hawaii and New Zealand – where they now pose a threat to native wildlife.
Mongooses live in complex social groups, called bands, and are generally active during the day.