Skip to main content
Select Source:

mongoose

mongoose, name for a large number of small, carnivorous, terrestrial Old World mammals of the civet family. They are found in S Asia and in Africa, with one species extending into S Spain. Mongooses are fierce, active hunters, feeding on a variety of ground-living animals, as well as eggs, and, in some species, fruits. They live in a variety of habitats and occupy rock crevices or holes, or dig burrows. Unlike civets, they lack scent glands. Typical mongooses, species of the genus Herpestes, are weasellike in appearance, with long, slender bodies, pointed faces, and bushy tails. Their hair is coarse and shaggy. They range in length from 11/2 to 31/2 ft (45–106 cm) including the tail, which is about as long as the head and body. The Indian gray mongoose, H. edwardsi, is known for its ability to kill snakes, including cobras. A medium-sized mongoose, it lives in arid rocky or brushy areas, or cultivated pastures. When attacking a snake, the mongoose provokes it to strike repeatedly, avoiding it by agile dodging; when the snake is exhausted the mongoose seizes its head in its jaws and crushes the skull. Skill in evading the snake is learned, and young mongooses often die of snakebite. However, ingested snake venom is harmless to the mongoose, which eats the snake's head and venom glands. The Indian mongoose is easily tamed and is often kept as a pet and a destroyer of household vermin. Imported into the West Indies to kill rats, it destroyed most of the small, ground-living native fauna. Because of their destructiveness, it is illegal to import mongooses into the United States, even for zoos. The Egyptian gray mongoose, or ichneumon, H. ichneumon, is a large species common in most of Africa and in S Spain. It lives in damp, forested regions and preys on small terrestrial and freshwater animals. The ancient Egyptians domesticated this mongoose, which they considered sacred. The marsh mongoose, Atilax paludinosus, lives near bodies of water in Africa and dives for food. The meerkat (Suricata suricatta), or suricate, is a social mongoose of S African grasslands; meerkats live in large communal burrows and prey chiefly on insects and other small invertebrates. Mongooses are classified in approximately 12 genera of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Viverridae.

See H. E. Hinton and A. Dunn, Mongooses (1967); A. Rasa, Mongoose Watch (1985).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongoose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongoose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mongoose

"mongoose." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mongoose

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mongoose

mon·goose / ˈmänˌgoōs; ˈmäng-/ • n. (pl. mongooses / ˈmängˌgoōsəz/ ) a small carnivorous mammal (Herpestes, Mungos, and other genera) of the civet family, with a long body and tail and a grizzled or banded coat, native to Africa and Asia. Its many species include the banded mongoose (M. mungo).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongoose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongoose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose-0

"mongoose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mongoose

mongoose Small, agile, carnivorous mammal of the civet family, native to Africa, s Europe and Asia. It has a slender, thickly furred body and a long, bushy tail. Mongooses eat rodents, insects, eggs, birds, and snakes. Some may be domesticated, but most are highly destructive. Length: 46–115cm (18–45in). Family Viverridae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongoose." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongoose." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mongoose

"mongoose." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mongoose

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mongoose

mongoose XVII. — Marathi māgūs.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongoose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongoose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose-1

"mongoose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mongooses

mongooses See VIVERRIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongooses." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongooses." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongooses

"mongooses." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongooses

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

mongoose

mongooseabstruse, abuse, adduce, Ballets Russes, Belarus, Bruce, burnous, caboose, charlotte russe, conduce, deduce, deuce, diffuse, douce, educe, excuse, goose, induce, introduce, juice, Larousse, loose, luce, misuse, moose, mousse, noose, obtuse, Palouse, papoose, produce, profuse, puce, recluse, reduce, Rousse, seduce, sluice, Sousse, spruce, traduce, truce, use, vamoose, Zeus •cayuse • calaboose • mongoose •Aarhus • verjuice • couscous •footloose • ventouse • refuse •Odysseus • Idomeneus • hypotenuse •Syracuse

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"mongoose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mongoose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose

"mongoose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mongoose

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.