Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs

Yellow Mongoose

Family: Herpestidae

Genus: Cynictis

While doing some additional research about the yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) I was interested to find out that this beautifully small African mammal is also known as the 'Red Meerkat'. The Yellow Mongoose is predominately found in the Kalahari semi desert area’s in Botswana, but also in the arid regions of South Africa, Namibia, Angola and as far East as Zimbabwe.

Generally averaging about 500 g (1 lb) in weight and about 500 mm (20 in) in length, with pale yellow or reddish fur, a long tail with a distinctive and identifying white tip.

Like all mongooses the Yellow Mongoose is a carnivore with its diet mainly consisting of insects, but will also take eggs, lizards and snakes. The Yellow mongoose as it lives in large colonies in a mass of burrows, is often found co-habiting with Cape-ground Squirrels (Xerus inauris) and Meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Being often out in the open away from its burrows the Yellow Mongoose is open to predation from ‘above’ from birds of prey, but also while in its burrow from snakes and jackals.

When frightened, the Yellow Mongoose will growl and secrete from its anal glands. It can also scream, bark, and purr, though these are exceptions, as the yellow mongoose is usually silent, and communicates mood and status through tail movements.

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