The long-term research projects on Banded Mongooses in Uganda, and Meerkats in South Africa are continuing to yield incredible insights into the nuanced social lives of these unusuallu cooperative vertebrates.
Their latest genetic analysis, published in the journal Behavioural Ecology, showed that males from other packs were fathering nearly 20% of pups in the group. But females only get the opportunity to mate with outside males during pack warfare – a dangerous time for romance. Mongoose packs don't tend to play well with others, and when two packs meet, savage fights often break out. Getting involved is a bad idea: 12% of all mongoose deaths occur during these vicious encounters.