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Digital Nature Journal: Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)

Introduction to the smallest carnivore in Africa, with a link to more learning opportunities

Fran Lafferty

on 31 August 2014

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Transcript of Digital Nature Journal: Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)

Digital Nature Journal:
Dwarf Mongoose
Helogale Parvula

Range Map
Dwarf mongooses live in east and south Africa.
Why "dwarf"?
Dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) are the smallest of all the mongooses. In fact, they are the smallest carnivore in all of Africa!
Dwarf mongooses can often be found on, in, and around termite mounds. They also eat termites.
These little guys usually weigh
less than 1 pound!
Dwarf mongooses have close knit family groups with one breeding pair and many surrogate parents.
This is the smallest of all the carnivores in Africa.

Part of the mongoose family (
), it is
(active during the day) and very social. Members of its family group are highly interdependent.
Dwarf Mongoose
Helogale parvula
dwarf mongoose
Mongooses and Meerkats
Mongooses and meerkats have several things in common. For example, they both live in groups with only one breeding pair of adults. All the other group members take turns feeding the young, protecting them, hunting for themselves, and serving as sentries -- using elevated objects in the environment to keep a lookout for danger -- just like meerkats.
Same Family, Different Build
As you can see, mongooses' bodies are not quite built for standing steady on their hind legs -- that posture that makes the meerkat so famous and recognizable.
What do they eat?
Dwarf mongooses eat mostly insects, spiders, and scorpions. However, they also eat small mammals and birds, eggs, and an occasional snake.

In addition to live food, dwarf mongooses will also eat some plant foods like berries.
This is a Digital Nature Journal by Fran Lafferty
Learn more at
Mongooses and Hornbills
Mongooses often form hunting parties with one or more hornbills nearby to help keep a look out for predators.

These birds with strange upper bills scoop up some of the insects that are disturbed by the mongoose's digging.
This is just a brief overview of this amazing species.

I invite you to visit my Tidbits of Nature website, to view a host of videos on the Dwarf Mongoose, as well as to be
challenged by several activities that will prompt you to research more on your own and use what you learn.

I'd love to see what you create! Use my Comments sections to share what you learn in words and/or links to your own pages. Be creative as you explore nature!

Full transcript