Wild Fact #60 – No Fear For The Venom – Large Grey Mongoose

Large Grey Mongoose

Photo by Eyal Bartov


Cool Facts About The Large Grey Mongoose

  • The largest species of Mongoose in Africa, the Large Grey Mongoose, also commonly known as the Egyptian Mongoose, grows to nearly 90cm long with a 40cm long tail.
  • Possessing roughly 35 to 40 teeth, this Mongoose has highly developed carnassial teeth, or “cheek teeth,” which are used for shearing meat from the bones….ewwww!
  • Interestingly, the Large Grey Mongoose lacks hair both on its hind feet and on a small area around their eyes

The Hiding Mongoose

The Large Grey Mongoose can be found in Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Israel, and most of sub-Saharan Africa.  Usually found in areas that are close to water, the Large Grey Mongoose is a ground-dwelling mammal that prefers the Savannah and open forest habitats where there are plenty of places to hide.  Finding shelter in burrows either dug by themselves or abandoned by another animal, the Large Grey Mongoose has also been known to nest in hollows logs, trees, and inside the crevices of rocks. Basically, they like relaxing in dark, cool places, so if you ever happen to be in their distribution range, you know where to look. Egyptian Mongoose

A Poisonous Snack

Because of their size, the Large Grey Mongoose has fewer predators than other species of Mongoose within their natural environment.  Main predators include large birds of prey, including hawks, owls and eagles, along with wild dogs and snakes, but they are also hunted by humans for both their meat and fur.

Living in small groups of up to 8 members, which usually consist of a male, a few females, and their young, the Large Grey Mongooses are able to warn one another when they spot a predator lurking in the distance.  Acting together, the whole group can quickly retreat to the safety of the burrow.  Like other mongooses, the Large Grey Mongoose will attack and eat venomous snakes.  Resistant to at least two different types of snake venom, Large Grey Mongooses are thought to be up to ten times as resistant to toxins that attack the nervous system and may be resistant to toxins that attack the circulatory system too. That is almost Superhero status.





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