How the Marsh Mongoose catches prey

The Marsh Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus), also known as the African Water Mongoose, has an unusual method of catching its favorite food (birds). It makes its butt look like a piece of ripe fruit, which tempts birds over to investigate — and fall right into its trap. Jonathan Kingdon, author of East African Mammals, explains:

The marsh mongoose has been widely credited by local people with employing a very bizarre subterfuge to catch birds. The story would seem quite outlandish were there not corroborative evidence for the behaviour pattern, even if not for its alleged purpose. My captive female occasionally would sun-bathe lying on her back, in which position her pale pink anal area assumed a quite startling prominence against the surrounding fringe of dark fur. This display is claimed to induce birds (including the locals' chickens), to approach and peck at the anus, whereupon the mongoose seizes the bird.

According to Animal Diversity Web, the Marsh Mongoose also has another odd trick:

When approached by a threating presence, the mongoose makes a low growl, which may be reinforced by sudden explosive barking growls in a deeper tone. When the mongoose is cornered or distressed, it ejects jets of foul brown fluid from its anal sacs.

Goes to show that you really can't compete with Nature for weirdness.
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 16, 2012
     Category: Animals | Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature | Science

If it had a white stripe down its back would anyone be surprised by it emitting a foul smelling liquid from its behind when threatened? Also, which came first, the mongoose tempting the chickens while sunbathing or the chickens getting attacked for pecking at the sunbathing mongoose's anus?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/16/12 at 01:38 PM
Typical. Birds still making asses of themselves for 70,000,000 years.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/17/12 at 01:08 AM
You know, my wife caught me the exact same way!
Posted by kingmonkey in Athens, Ontario on 09/17/12 at 07:41 AM
OMG! rotflmao Kingmonkey!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/17/12 at 10:32 AM
It pays to learn a second language. The mongoose is also fluent in Pit Bull.
Posted by tadchem on 09/17/12 at 03:04 PM
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