Latin name: Herpestes nyula

A precocious little weasel-like carnivore that has subspecies in Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe. The most famous variety is the Indian mongoose, which is renowned for its ability to kill cobras, and immortalized in the Rudyard Kipling story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. This fame has also made it the mascot of companies, schools, and clubs, which makes it more difficult than it should be to find information on the creature itself from a search engine.

The mongoose looks pretty much like a weasel, but it has a long, bushy tail. When it's not eating snakes, it's eating mice, lizards, eggs, and other insects. It has an infamous history of being brought into areas to control the rat population, but of eating the snakes instead, which causes the rat problem to get worse. This is why it is forbidden in the United States and Canada. One species was considered a sacred animal in ancient Egypt, but, come to think of it, so was pretty much every other animal.

The mongoose strategy for killing cobras is based on reflex and endurance: Mongoose and snake will square off against each other. The cobra will strike at the mongoose, but the mongoose will jump out of the snakes' reach. When the cobra does land a hit, often as not it will just get a mouthfull of the mongoose's bristly hair. When the snake starts to tire, the mongoose will go on the offensive, and approach the cobra. As the snake lowers its head to strike once more, the mongoose will quickly grab the cobra's head in its mouth and bite down hard enough to crush the snake's skull.

Thanks to for the blow-by-blow fight information, and to for information about the animal itself.

compiled overview of the 25ton Mongoose 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

Introduced in the spring of 2660, the quick, agile Mongoose soon became popular with Star League light lance commanders. Equipped with the Beagle active probe, which combined thermal and magnetic passive sensors with an active millimeter-wavelength phased-array radar, the Mongoose rendered all attempts at concealment useless.

Though the 'Mech was originally designed for deep reconnaissance, commanders began to adapt it for command and control duties as soon as they discovered that the Mongoose's advanced sensor array and associated central processing units would allow them to easily coordinate the activities of an entire light company. Demand for this new vehicle was high, and by 2668, the design had become the standard command 'Mech for all light and recon lances.

The First and Second Succession Wars devastated the Inner Sphere's industrial might. As was the case for the MechWarriors of many advanced BattleMech designs dependent on a constant flow of replacement parts, Mongoose pilots found themselves patching and jury-rigging together their "state-of-the-art" electronics and weaponry. The first item to suffer was the sensor array, and today, none of the few operational Mongooses have a functioning Beagle probe.

The Mongoose was designed to replace the venerable Locust, with ground speed, rather than jumping ability, as the key to the 'Mech's maneuverability. An instant success with field commanders, the 'Mech is considered an outstanding design. The 'Mech's armament is based entirely on energy weapons, freeing it from an undue reliance on resupply. This makes the Mongoose an ideal deep-recon 'Mech or raider.

The Mongoose carries a heavy load of armor for its size, and it can withstand a direct PPC blast to the chest without suffering internal damage. If necessary, the Mongoose can engage medium 'Mechs with some chance of success.

The laser systems are tried and dependable, with excellent heat dissipation provided by the primary cooling collars located just above the 'Mech's elbows.

Secondary heat sinks, located in the back of the torso, funnel heat toward the waist. The lasers mounted in the center torso and head are very accurate, employing internal compensatory systems that allow the Mongoose to aim precisely when at a full run. The only drawback to the weapon system is the cooling jacket for the center torso laser, which rests on top of the engine compartment and tends to deteriorate rapidly. Replacement is not difficult, but studies show the jacket is virtually useless after only 100 firings. The additional heat does not impair the Mongoose's performance, but it makes the cockpit uncomfortable for the pilot and sometimes interferes with the sensor array.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

Mon"goose, Mon"goos (?), n. (Zoöl.)

A species of ichneumon (Herpestes griseus), native of India. Applied also to other allied species, as the African banded mongoose (Crossarchus fasciatus). [Written also mungoose, mungoos, mungous.]


© Webster 1913

Mon"goose (?), n.; pl. Mongooses (#). [Tamil manegos.]

A Madagascan lemur (Lemur mongos).


© Webster 1913

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