Yellow mongoose

The yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata), sometimes referred to as the red meerkat, is a member of the mongoose family averaging about 1 lb (1/2 kg) in weight and about 20 in (500 mm) in length.[2] It lives in open country, from semi-desert scrubland to grasslands in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Yellow Mongoose Klipriviersberg Johannesburg
Yellow mongoose, Klipriviersberg, Johannesburg
Yellow mongoose
Cynictis penicillata (Etosha, 2011)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Subfamily:
Genus:
Cynictis

Ogilby, 1833
Species:
C. penicillata
Binomial name
Cynictis penicillata
(Cuvier, 1829)
Yellow Mongoose area
Yellow mongoose range

Taxonomy

Cynictis penicillata is the only member of its genus, but as many as twelve subspecies of yellow mongoose have been described. In general, the yellow mongoose has lighter highlights on the underbelly and chin, a bushy tail, and a complete lack of sexual dimorphism. Southern yellow mongooses are larger, have yellow or reddish fur, longer fur, and a longer tail with a characteristic white tip. Northern subspecies tend towards smaller size, grey colouration, a grey or darker grey tip to the tail, and shorter hair more appropriate to the hotter climate.

Habits

Fuchsmanguste 2
Yellow mongoose

The yellow mongoose is carnivorous, consuming mostly arthropods but also other small mammals, lizards, snakes and eggs of all kinds.

The yellow mongoose is primarily diurnal, though nocturnal activity has been observed. Living in colonies of up to 20 individuals in a permanent underground burrow complex, the yellow mongoose will often co-exist with Cape ground squirrels or suricates and share maintenance of the warren, adding new tunnels and burrows as necessary. The tunnel system has many entrances, nearby which the yellow mongoose makes its latrines.

Social structure

Cynictis penicillata, Lake District Wildlife Park
A yellow mongoose in Lake District Wildlife Park, Cumbria, northwestern England.

The social structure of the yellow mongoose is hierarchical, based around a central breeding pair and their most recent offspring. There are also subadults, the elderly, or adult relatives of the central pair. Male ranges tend to overlap, while females from other dens have contiguous non-overlapping ranges. Every day, the alpha male will mark members of his group with anal gland secretions, and his boundaries with facial and anal secretions, as well as urine. The alpha male also rubs his back against raised objects, leaving behind hair as a visual marker of territory. Other members of the group mark their dens with cheek secretions. A colony can have 20-40 members.

Predators

Predators of the yellow mongoose are birds of prey, snakes and jackals. When frightened, the yellow mongoose will growl and secrete from its anal glands. It can also scream, bark, and purr, though these are exceptions, as the yellow mongoose is usually silent, and communicates mood and status through tail movements.

Mating season

Cynictis penicillata mating2
Yellow mongooses mating

The yellow mongoose's mating season is between July and September, and it gives birth underground between October and December, with no bedding material, in a clean chamber of the burrow system. Usually, two offspring are produced per pregnancy, and they are weaned at 10 weeks, reaching adult size after 10 months.

Rabies

There is some concern about the role of Cynictis penicillata as a natural reservoir of rabies. Most African wild animals will die within several weeks of infection with rabies, but it seems that certain genetic strains of the yellow mongoose can carry it asymptomatically, but infectiously, for years.[3]

References

  1. ^ Taylor, P.J. & Hoffmann, M. (2008). "Cynictis penicillata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 August 2014. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 564. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Taylor PJ (December 1993). "A systematic and population genetic approach to the rabies problem in the yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata)". Onderstepoort J. Vet. Res. 60 (4): 379–87. PMID 7777324.

Further reading

  • N.L. Avenant; J.A.J. Nel: "Comparison of the diet of the yellow mongoose in a coastal and a Karoo area" in South African Journal of Wildlife Research (1992), Volume: 22, p. 89–93.
  • O.A.E. Rasa; B.A. Wenhold; P. Howard; A. Marais: "Reproduction in the yellow mongoose revisited" in South African Journal of Zoology (1992), Vol. 27, No. 4, p. 192.
  • B.A. Wenhold; O.A.E. Rasa: "Territorial marking in the Yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata: sexual advertisement for subordinates?" in Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde (1994), Vol.59, No.3, p. 129.

External links

Anne Rasa

Olwen Anne Elisabeth Rasa (born 1940 in Wales) is a British Ethologist, who rendered outstanding services to the knowledge of the social behavior of Dwarf mongoose.

Asiatic linsang

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.

Catopuma

Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the bay cat (C. badia) and the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii).

Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head. They inhabit forested environments in Southeast Asia. The bay cat is restricted to the island of Borneo. Originally thought to be two subspecies of the same animal, recent genetic analysis has confirmed they are, indeed, separate species.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat, from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 square kilometres (20,400 sq mi) (larger than the Netherlands, and almost 10% of Botswana's total land area), making it the second largest game reserve in the world.The park contains wildlife such as South African giraffe, bush elephant, white rhino, cape buffalo, spotted hyena, brown hyena, honey badger, meerkat, yellow mongoose, warthog, South African cheetah, caracal, Cape wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, common eland, sable antelope, gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, impala, greater kudu, aardvark, cape ground squirrel, cape hare, cape porcupine, chacma baboon, red hartebeest and ostrich.

The land is mostly flat, and gently undulating covered with bush and grasses covering the sand dunes, and areas of larger trees. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with salt pans. Four fossilized rivers meander through the reserve including Deception Valley which began to form around 16,000 years ago.The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s the Botswana government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve, claiming they were a drain on financial resources despite revenues from tourism. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve, and in October 2005 the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. In 2006 a Botswana court proclaimed the eviction illegal and affirmed the Bushmen's right to return to living in the reserve. However, as of 2015 most Bushmen are blocked from access to their traditional lands in the reserve. A nationwide ban on hunting made it illegal for the Bushmen to practice their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, despite allowing private game ranches to provide hunting opportunities for tourists.In 2014 a diamond mine operated by Gem Diamonds opened in the southeast portion of the reserve. The company estimated that the mine could yield $4.9 billion worth of diamonds. The Rapaport Diamond Report, a diamond-industry pricing guide, stated, "Ghaghoo's launch was not without controversy [...] given its location on the ancestral land of the Bushmen".A huge bush fire in and around the park in the middle of September 2008 burnt around 80 percent of the reserve. The origin of the fire remains unknown.

Ferret-badger

Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.

Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)

Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)

Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)

Indian brown mongoose

The Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) looks similar to the short-tailed mongoose from Southeast Asia and is sometimes believed to be only a subspecies of this latter. The Indian brown mongoose is found in southwest India and Sri Lanka.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Meerkat

The meerkat or suricate (Suricata suricatta) is a small carnivoran belonging to the mongoose family (Herpestidae). It is the only member of the genus Suricata. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about half this in the wild.

Mongoose

Mongoose is the popular English name for 29 of the 34 species in the 14 genera of the family Herpestidae, which are small feliform carnivorans native to southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. The other five species (all African) in the family are the four kusimanses in the genus Crossarchus, and the species Suricata suricatta, commonly called meerkat in English.

Six species in the family Eupleridae are endemic to the island of Madagascar. These are called "mongoose" and were originally classified as a genus within the family Herpestidae, but genetic evidence has since shown that they are more closely related to other Madagascar carnivorans in the family Eupleridae; they have been classified in the subfamily Galidiinae within Eupleridae since 2006.

Herpestidae is placed within the suborder Feliformia, together with the cat, hyena, and Viverridae families.

Mustelinae

Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).

Novosibirsk Zoo

The Novosibirsk Zoo is a scientific institution as well as a popular tourist attraction. The zoo has around 11,000 animals representing 738 species and is an active participant in thirty-two different captive breeding programmes for endangered species. On average, over 1,500,000 people visit the zoo each year.

Nyctereutes

Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.

Opisthacanthus capensis

Opisthacanthus capensis (Thorell, 1876) is a Cape Province and Zimbabwean species of scorpion with robust chelae, dark brown to black in colour, turning green when under cover for some time. Opisthacanthus is arboreal and ground-dwelling, and found mainly in moist habitats in dense vegetation, pine plantations and forests, hiding under bark and rocks. There are 32 species and subspecies in this genus, all occurring in Southern Africa.Its venom contains powerful neurotoxins and cytotoxins, including mucopolysaccharides, hyaluronidases, phospholipases, serotonins, histamines, enzyme inhibitors, and proteins such as neurotoxic peptides. The venom from O. capensis is largely composed of melittin which stimulates the release of the enzyme phospholipase A2 causing inflammation and pain. Phospholipase A2 cleaves the SN-2 acyl chain, releasing arachidonic acid.

This species features in the diets of the bat-eared fox Otocyon megalotis (Canidae), the yellow mongoose Cynictis penicillata, the small grey mongoose Galerella pulverulenta, and the water mongoose Atilax paludinosus (Viverridae).

Paradoxurus

Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Prionailurus

Prionailurus is a genus of spotted, small wild cats native to Asia. Forests are their preferred habitat; they feed on small mammals, reptiles and birds, some also on aquatic wildlife.

Pusa

Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.

The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.

Only the Caspian seal is endangered.

Rabies virus

Rabies lyssavirus, formerly Rabies virus, is a neurotropic virus that causes rabies in humans and animals. Rabies transmission can occur through the saliva of animals and less commonly through contact with human saliva. Rabies lyssavirus, like many rhabdoviruses, has an extremely wide host range. In the wild it has been found infecting many mammalian species, while in the laboratory it has been found that birds can be infected, as well as cell cultures from mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.Rabies lyssavirus has a cylindrical morphology and is the type species of the Lyssavirus genus of the Rhabdoviridae family. These viruses are enveloped and have a single stranded RNA genome with negative-sense. The genetic information is packaged as a ribonucleoprotein complex in which RNA is tightly bound by the viral nucleoprotein. The RNA genome of the virus encodes five genes whose order is highly conserved. These genes code for nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), glycoprotein (G) and the viral RNA polymerase (L). The complete genome sequences range from 11,615 to 11,966 nt in length.All transcription and replication events take place in the cytoplasm inside a specialized “virus factory”, the Negri body (named after Adelchi Negri). These are 2–10 µm in diameter and are typical for a rabies infection and thus have been used as definite histological proof of such infection.

Speothos

Speothos is a genus of canid found in Central and South America. The genus includes the living bush dog, Speothos venaticus, and an extinct Pleistocene species, Speothos pacivorus. Unusually, the fossil species was identified and named before the extant species was discovered, with the result that the type species of Speothos is S. pacivorus.

Tropiquaria

Tropiquaria Zoo is a small tropical house and zoo in West Somerset, England. It is located 16 miles (26 km) from Taunton and 9 miles (14 km) from Minehead.

It is based in a 1930s art deco BBC radio transmitter hall of Washford transmitting station, which is now a Grade II listed building.A zoo has been run from this site since the early 1990s. There is a mainly African theme to the tropical hall and aquarium as well as the large number of outside enclosures. The zoo is a member of BIAZA, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and has successfully bred a number of endangered species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish.

Tropiquaria includes a Tropical Hall with a variety of snakes and lizards, and birds. The zoo also features an aquarium with several species of endangered, critically endangered and even extinct in the wild species of fish. Outside are macaws, helmeted curassow, cockatoos, parrots, agoutis, gibbons, serval, wildcats, wallabies, emus, rheas, tapir, cotton-top tamarins, red-handed tamarins, ring-tailed lemurs, ruffed lemurs, brown lemurs, coatis, yellow mongoose and meerkats amongst many others.There is also a number of outdoor play areas, and an indoor play area and cafe.

Extant Carnivora species

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