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Animal Database
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Animal Database
Herpestidae
Suricata suricatta
A Meerkat
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Feliformia
Family Herpestidae

Herpestidae is a family from the Carnivora order. It's including 33 extanct species of small carnivorans from southern Eurasia and mainland Africa, the mongooses. Mongooses live in southern Asia, Africa, and southern Europe, as well in Puerto Rico and some Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.

Behaviour-Characteristics[]

Mongooses mostly feed on insects, crabs, earthworms, lizards, snakes, birds, and rodents. However, they also eat eggs and carrion.In contrast to the arboreal, nocturnal viverrids, mongooses are more commonly terrestrial and many are active during the day.There are 33 species, ranging from 1 to 4 feet (0.30 to 1.2 m) in length. Mongooses range in weight from the common dwarf mongoose, at 10 oz (280 g), to the cat-sized white-tailed mongoose, at 9 lb (4.1 kg). Some species lead predominantly solitary lives, seeking out food only for themselves, while others travel in groups, sharing food among group members.

Taxonomy[]

Like other feliformian carnivorans, mongooses descended from the viverravines, which were civet or genet-like mammals. Older classifications sometimes placed mongooses in the Viverridae family, but both morphological and molecular evidence speaks against the monophyly of this group, though they do have the same basic dental formula as the viverrids. Mongooses also have characteristic behavioral features that distinguish them from viverrids and other feliformian families. Less diverse than the viverrids, the mongoose family includes 14 genera and 33 species.

Mongooses are related to the other feliformian families, including Hyaenidae (hyenas), Viverridae (civets) and Felidae (cats). They are more distantly related to the caniformian carnivorans, including the family Mustelidae, which contains weasels, badgers and otters.

Genetic evidence indicates the family Eupleridae is the closest living group to mongooses. The Eupleridae contain the fossa and the other smaller Malagasy carnivorans.

Genetic evidence from several nuclear and mitochondrial genes argues against placing Malagasy galidiines in the mongoose family; instead, these species are more closely related to other Madagascar carnivorans, including the fossa and Malagasy civet. As a result, this subfamily was moved from Herpestidae to Eupleridae.

Genus: Atilax
 Marsh Mongoose (Cuvier, 1829) (Atilax paludinosus)
Genus: Bdeogale
 Bushy-tailed Mongoose (Peters, 1852) (Bdeogale crassicauda)
 Jackson's Mongoose (Thomas, 1894) (Bdeogale jacksoni)
 Black-footed Mongoose (Pucheran, 1855) (Bdeogale nigripes)
Genus: Crossarchus
 Alexander's Kusimanse (Thomas & Wroughton, 1907) (Crossarchus alexandri)
 Angolan Kusimanse (Thomas, 1910) (Crossarchus ansorgei)
 Common Kusimanse (Cuvier, 1825) (Crossarchus obscurus)
 Flat-headed Kusimanse (Goldman, 1984) (Crossarchus platycephalus)
Genus: Cynictis
 Yellow Mongoose (Cuvier, 1829) (Cynictis penicillata)
Genus: Dologale
 Pousargues' Mongoose (Pousargues, 1893) (Dologale dybowskii)
Genus: Galerella
 Angolan Slender Mongoose (Bocage, 1889) (Galerella flavescens)
 Somali Slender Mongoose (Gray, 1849) (Galerella ochracea)
 Cape Gray Mongoose (Wagner, 1839) (Galerella pulverulenta)
 Slender Mongoose (Rüppell, 1836) (Galerella sanguinea)
Genus: Helogale
 Ethiopian Dwarf Mongoose (Thomas, 1904) (Helogale hirtula)
 Common Dwarf Mongoose (Sundevall, 1847) (Helogale parvula)
Genus Herpestes
 Short-tailed mongoose, Herpestes brachyurus
 Indian gray mongoose, Herpestes edwardsii
 Indian brown mongoose, Herpestes fuscus
 Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon
 Small Asian mongoose, Herpestes javanicus
 Long-nosed mongoose,  Herpestes naso 
 Collared mongoose,  Herpestes semitorquatus
 Ruddy mongoose, Herpestes smithii
 Crab-eating mongoose, Herpestes urva
 Stripe-necked mongoose, Herpestes vitticollis
 Herpestes lemanensis†
Genus: Ichneumia
 White-tailed Mongoose (G. Cuvier, 1829) (Ichneumia albicauda)
Genus: Liberiictus
 Liberian Mongoose (Hayman, 1958) (Liberiictis kuhni)
Genus: Mungos
 Gambian Mongoose (Ogilby, 1835) (Mungos gambianus)
 Banded Mongoose (Gmelin, 1788) (Mungos mungo)
Genus: Paracynictis
 Selous' Mongoose (de Winton, 1896) (Paracynictis selousi)
Genus: Rhynchogale
 Meller's Mongoose (Gray, 1865) (Rhynchogale melleri)
Genus: Suricata
 Meerkat (Schreber, 1776) (Suricata suricatta)
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