“In the wild, dwarf mongooses open eggs by launching them through their legs with their forepaws.” Their backs would likely be facing a rock, cracking the eggs on impact.
At the Oregon Zoo, the dwarf mongooses open plastic toy eggs in the same way, but the eggs seem to pop up, bounce, and roll super easily, surprising the tiny carnivores. It’s a “dwarf mongoose eggcercise class.” Bonus points to the zoo team for the slow-motion footage at the end.
“Dwarf mongooses live throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa in a wide variety of woodlands, thickets, and savanna habitats. They are the smallest carnivores in Africa and are primarily insectivorous (insect-eaters)…
[They] live in groups of 12 to 15, covering more than 75 acres of territory. Within that range, 20 or more termite mounds are used as den sites, lookout posts and food sources. Mongooses also find dens in rocky outcrops and hollow logs.
Den sites are rarely used for more than a few days at a time, since dwarf mongooses are nomadic (moving from place to place in search of food).”
At the zoo, these toy eggs provide stimulation and a focus for that sort of nomadic energy. They definitely look eggcited to get to those treats.
Watch more zoo animals eating, including:
• Hippos eating watermelons at Nagasaki Biopark
• Elephants squish giant pumpkins
• Cougar vs. a frozen salmon – Keeping big cats well-exercised