Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) - Wiki
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The Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), also known as the Ichneumon, is a species of mongoose. It may be a reservoir host for Visceral leishmaniasis in Sudan.
Range and habitat
This mongoose may be found in Spain, Portugal, Israel, and most of sub-Saharan Africa, except for central Zaire, western South Africa, and Namibia. It has been introduced to Madagascar and Italy.
It prefers to live in forests, savanna, or scrub, never far from water.
The largest of all African mongooses, the Egyptian Mongoose has a body 48-60 cm long, and a 33-54 cm tail. It weighs 1.7-4 kg.
The Egyptian Mongoose has a slender body, with a pointed snout and small ears. It has 35-40 teeth, with highly developed carnassials, used for shearing meat. Its long, coarse fur ranges in colour from grey to reddish brown and is ticked with brown or yellow flecks. Their tails have black tips. The hind feet and a small area around the eyes are furless.
Males and females become sexually mature at two years of age. Mating occurs in July or August, and after a gestation period of 11 weeks, the female gives birth to 2-4 young. Egyptian Mongooses are blind and hairless when born, but open their eyes after about a week.
The Egyptian Mongoose is diurnal and lives in small groups of 1-7 animals, usually consisting of a male, several females, and their young. Male offspring usually leave the group before they are a year old; females stay longer, and may not leave at all.
Most wild mongooses live for 12 years. The longest lived captive mongoose was over 20 years old.
Its diet consists mainly of meat, including rodents, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Fruit and eggs are also popular food items; to crack it open, the latter is characteristically thrown between the legs against a rock or wall. Like other mongooses, the Egyptian Mongoose will attack and eat poisonous snakes. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not immune to snake venom.
The Egyptian Mongoose is extremely numerous. While its numbers threaten other species, it is not at risk of extinction.
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