Mongoose are small mammals.
There are many kinds of mongoose.
They live in Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
Most mongoose live on the ground.
They can kill and eat snakes.
Mongoose live in southern Asia, Africa, and southern Europe.
Mongoose live mainly on the ground but some hunt in trees.
What mongoose look like
Mongoose are small mammals about 40 centimetres long. Their slender bodies are covered with stiff and rough yellow-grey or brown-black hair. They have long faces and bodies, small, rounded ears, short legs, and long, tapering tails.
What mongoose eat
Mongoose have long, pointed noses which they use to sniff for, and find prey such as
insects and worms. Their sharp claws help them to dig up their prey. They also eat mice, rats, wild birds, spiders and other small animals. Mongoose eat bird's eggs too, which they throw on the ground with their front paws, to smash them open.
Mongoose are mainly carnivorous (meat eaters) but some species will also eat fruit, nuts and seeds.
Life cycle of mongoose
Mongoose live alone although males will sometimes live together in small groups and share a burrow. After mating with a male mongoose the female is pregnant for up to 49 days. She gives birth to 2 to 5 young.
In captivity mongoose can live for 20 years.
Mongoose kill snakes
Mongoose are famously fierce and able to kill poisonous snakes such as the cobra. They do this by being quick enough to dodge out of the way as the snake tries to strike. The mongoose quickly seizes and kills the snake.
Watch a video of a mongoose in a fight with a cobra
Mongoose are related to civet cats.
Meerkats are a kind of mongoose.