New recruits

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.

Release date:


3 minutes


Role Contributor
Camera OperatorRalph Bower
Camera OperatorMark MacEwen
Camera OperatorJohn Waters
Camera OperatorLuke Barnett
Camera AssistantHelen Johnson
ConsultantDr Michael Cant
NarratorDexter Fletcher
Production ManagerJanelle Backes
Production ManagerAnna McGill
ProducerColin Jackson
Executive ProducerWendy Darke
Assistant ProducerLouise Emerson
ComposerWill Slater

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