By Annette J Beveridge
Nature holds many secrets. By glimpsing inside the everyday life of certain species, it enables us a much stronger interaction and connection with the natural world. Most mongoose species live solitary lives but the banded mongoose is different as they live in colonies with complex social structures. They make use of dens – including termite mounds and colonies may have up to 40 animals although can be larger on occasion.
Native in the Sahel to Southern Africa, these animals thrive in open forests, grasslands, and savannas. Food is varied from millipedes to beetles and they will take small reptiles, birds, ants, crickets, and caterpillars. On occasion, small snakes will also be on the menu. Foraging takes place in the morning and late afternoon, so they avoid being out in the heat of the day. With a keen sense of smell, they dig up their prey using powerful claws and often monitor the piles of dung made by herbivores as these attract beetles.