Image for New recruits

New recruits

Duration: 02:45

The adult banded mongooses are on babysitting duties, and they have some tiny new recruits to look after. At just 10 days old, their little pups are very precious and today is their first journey out of the den to take in all the sights, sounds and smells of the outside world. All 12 pups are exactly the same age, but they have three different mums between them. Banded mongooses have a unique system of family planning, with mum's able to synchronise their breeding cycles and time the birth of their pups to exactly the same day. This gives them a huge practical advantage. When your babies need exactly the same thing at exactly the same time, childcare can be shared amongst the whole family and crucial things like den moves can be co-ordinated around them. It's a great system, as all the mob will help protect and raise the pups, sharing babysitting duties and breast milk and teaching the youngsters the ropes. The strength of the family is in numbers, so it is in everyone's interest to ensure the pups survival. But it's a balancing act and depends on all the pups being exactly the same age.

Available since: Mon 15 Feb 2010

Credits

Camera Operator
Ralph Bower
Camera Operator
Mark MacEwen
Camera Operator
John Waters
Camera Operator
Luke Barnett
Camera Assistant
Helen Johnson
Consultant
Dr Michael Cant
Narrator
Dexter Fletcher
Production Manager
Janelle Backes
Production Manager
Anna McGill
Producer
Colin Jackson
Executive Producer
Wendy Darke
Assistant Producer
Louise Emerson
Composer
Will Slater

This clip is from

Banded Brothers Episode 1

1/4 A family of banded mongooses needs new recruits to be born regularly to defend territory.

First broadcast: 21 Feb 2010

Image for Episode 1 Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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