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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



mongooses, a genus of mammals of the family Viverridae.

The body of the mongoose is low and elongate, from 23 to 64 cm in length; the tail is an additional 23–51 cm. Weight ranges from 0.5 to 3.2 kg. The fur is short, in some, an olive-gray or yellowish-brown monotone, and in others, variegated (with white markings). The inguinal glands produce a strong-smelling secretion. There are eight species of Herpestes, distributed in southern Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and neighboring islands. The animals live in forests and brush and among the reeds around bodies of water. They hunt day and night, usually singly, although small groups may form. They live in burrows or natural crevices in the ground. They feed on small rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, and insects. Some species are known for their ability to kill and eat large venomous snakes. There are between two and four offspring in a litter. The animals were imported to the West Indies and the Hawaiian Islands for the purpose of ridding them of rats and snakes, but they reproduced intensively and became harmful to poultry farming. A typical representative of the genus is the ichneumon, or African mongoose.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Data revealed that Herpestes edwardsii was distributed in all the localities of the 3 study zones of Mirpur.
berdmorei 6 4 (66.6) Viverridae, Herpestes javanicus 1 1 (100.0) Sciuridae, Menetes berdmorei 2 2 (100.0) Tupaiidae, Tupaia glis 1 1 (100.0) Total 55 45 (81.8) No.
A worldwide review of effects of the small Indian mongoose, Herpestes javanicus (Carnivora: Herpestidae).
(39) Furthermore, mongooses, specifically females of the genus Herpestes edwardsi, though not burrowing creatures, like to "play mole" (this is known in the literature as the "Maulwurfsspiel"), that is, to slip underneath tablecloths, sheets, or blankets and run around back and forth, reversing direction as soon as their head reaches an edge.
biological introduction; character displacement; character release; geographic variation; Herpestes; island population; mongoose; sexual size dimorphism.
The downward expansions include the Fawn-colored Mouse (Mus cervicolor) by 950 m, Black Giant Squirrel (Ratu fabicolor) by 290 m, Masked Palm Civet (Paguma larvata) by 50 m, and Small Asian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) by 140 m (Table 1, Figures 1 and 2e-h).
The reported species are Naemorhedus goral, Panthera pardus, Sus scrofa, Lepus nigricollis, Macaca mulatta, Canis aureus, Vulpes vulpes, Myotis myotis, Herpestes edwardsii and Hystrix indica.
2005: The effects of anthropogenic food on the spatial behaviour of small Indian mongooses (Herpestes javanicus) in a subtropical rainforest.--Journal of Zoology (London) 67(4): 339-350.
The Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) was also identified as a potential reservoir; however, its role has not yet been evaluated.
El segundo ensamble se compone de cinco especies: el lince iberico (Lynx pardinus), el zorro europeo (Vulpes vulpes), el tejon (Meles meles), el meloncillo (Herpestes ichneumon) y la gineta (Genetta genetta).
The Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) also is a possible reservoir (7).
Two of the most interesting mammals found in Donana are the mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), an introduced species which feeds mainly on rabbits and snakes, and the Spanish lynx (Lynx pardina).