Awais accurately points out that my posts on consciousness are distinctly vague about what it is I’m actually trying to say. A post that tries to meet this head-on is planned, but the various spaces and cavities in my head behind my eyes and nose are so congested and my throat so coughulous that it may not be for a couple of days.
In the meantime, we have what I think is my favourite mongoose so far: the yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata). For some reason it’s also known as the red meerkat (colour confusion is probably appropriate for a mongoose named after a monkey named after a cat). But regardless of what it’s called, it’s gorgeous.
EDIT: I have found that a lot of people come to this particular post from doing a search for ‘mongoose’ – not sure why this one and not any of my other 16 posts about mongooses. For the benefit of those people (hi!) a list of all my mongoose-related posts can be found in the ‘Zoological Dabblings’ tab in the top righthand corner.
It’s also quite similar to the meerkat in many respects – it inhabits the same area of South-Western Africa, it lives in large groups in semi-arid environments and hunts mainly insects and stuff. They also often share burrows with both meerkats and groud squirrels.
Notable differences, though, include the generally smaller size of its groups, and the fact that whereas meerkats make lots of noise, yellow mongooses tend to be much quieter, communicating through posture and body language. This of course stops them from developing the sentry system of meerkats – which works partly by sentries using either ‘look out’ or ‘relax’ noises.
They also have lovely fox-like fur and beautiful faces, whereas meerkats are a bit ugly. No offence.