Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)

helogale parvula dwarf mongoose species teeth dentition claws

This little guy in the Mongoose Family (Herpestidae) lives in eastern and southern Africa.

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He is the smallest carnivore on the continent! Like us (most of us, that is!) he does all his busy work during the day, and sleeps at night. Scientists call this diurnal.

You won’t believe this, but dwarf mongooses form little parties with hornbills — brightly colored birds with oddly distorted upper bills. They eat together, and they help each other keep an eye out for danger (predators!).

hornbill mutualism symbiosis africa bird mammal carnivore species friends
Just one species of hornbill.

Since they belong to the order of Carnivores, you can bet dwarf mongooses eat a lot of other creatures! But perhaps you may be slightly surprised that they mainly eat insects and spiders, along with some tiny reptiles, birds, eggs, and rodents. Or maybe you’re even MORE surprised to learn that they eat a little berries every now and then as well. Or have you learned enough about nature by now to know that most “carnivores” supplement their “meat-eating” diet with a little fresh veggies and fruits?


helogale parvula dwarf mongoose african animals social group

Go a Little Further:
Learn more about this species!
ArKive — more fun pics & videos!
Lincoln Park Zoo
The Animal Files
Philadelphia Zoo
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Printable PDF fact sheet
African Wildlife Foundation
Saint Louis Zoo
Animal Diversity Web


>> See all the Dwarf Mongoose posts on this site <<


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