Herpestids | Herpestoidea
Herpestoidea is a superfamily of carnivorous mammals that live in various climates throughout Eurasia, Africa, and Madagascar. It includes mongooses, Malagasy carnivorians, and hyenas. With the exception of hyenas, Herpestids have a cylindrical and elongated body; this allows them to burrow into holes to catch their prey. Most Herpestids are skilled hunters and predators that feed on a wide range of animals including small mammals and birds, reptiles, and a wide variety of insects. While some Herpestids are solitary, many are social animals that live in groups within complex burrow systems.
Mongooses typically live in the continent of Africa and their habitat extends over most of the continent. Some mongoose species live in parts of southern Asia as well as the Iberian Peninsula. Most Mongoose species are terrestrial while others are semi-aquatic and others live in the trees.
A mongoose is not a rodent, despite its rodent-like appearance. A mongoose is a member of the Herpestidae family that also includes civets and meerkats. A mongoose often gets mistaken for and referred to as a rodent due to its fur, body length, pointed face, and bushy tail.
Mongooses are immune to snake venom due to them having a uniquely mutated receptor of the brain transmitter, acetylcholine. The toxins of many snake venoms bind to the acetylcholine receptors which block nerve-muscle communications. The venom as a result of the mutation bounces off the muscle cells which results in no harm.