Facts about the snake-eating mammals – the mongoose.
Snakes appear to be immune to predation by other animals as they would either bite their prey with their venomous fangs or crush them by constriction. However, there are a group of animals that can outwit them and even prey on them. These snake predators are the mongoose.
One of these mongooses can be found in the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It is called the short-tailed mongoose or water mongoose because it lives near the water.
The water mongoose is roughly two feet in length with its tail about a third of its body. It looks like a cross between a dog and a rat. Like other mammals, it has five toes on each foot and the palms are generally naked. The one in the picture is found in Sumatra and is white. The Palawan species is yellowish red mixed with black on its upperparts. The underparts is reddish brown.
Biology and Habitat
The water mongoose is known to prey mainly on fish and crustaceans. Of course, it also feeds on snakes. It is semi-aquatic, meaning, it is adapted for living or growing in or near water but not entirely aquatic since its main food can be found in the aquatic environment.
A mongoose successfully bites a cobra.
In the Philippines, mongooses are found only on mainland Palawan and the northern islands of Palawan known as the Calamianes.
Mongoose are nowadays rarely seen and are endemic to places where they are found. Thus, these animals’ population may be threatened.
© 5 October 2009 The Snake-eating Mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus parvus)