One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small carnivorous mammal with a long body and tail and a grizzled or banded coat, native to Africa and Asia.
Family Herpestidae (or Viverridae): several genera, in particular Herpestes, and many species
- ‘With no other carnivores around, mongooses and civets became Madagascar's predators, and the fossa filled the hunting niche usually occupied by cats.’
- ‘We have birds and mammals here such as the slender mongoose and large spotted genets that are not rare, but it's still nice to have them in a city like Johannesburg.’
- ‘Genetic testing has revealed that, regardless of appearances, the fossa is a close cousin of the mongoose, and a member of the viverrid family, which also includes meerkats, civets, and genets.’
- ‘Virtually none of the small carnivorous mammals of Southeast Asia (cats, civets, mongooses, weasels) have crossed it from west to east on their own.’
- ‘Some others like the wild pig, the palm civet, the common mongoose, the golden oriole, and the rat snake can survive even with little green cover and withstand disturbances.’
Late 17th century: from Marathi maṅgūs.
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