Watch: Is this Mongoose Playing Dead or Just Playing?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

These mongoose pups were wrestling when a hornbill appeared down the road. While hornbills have a mutualistic hunting relationship with adult mongooses, they have also been known to eat vertebrates the size of these pups. The bold mongoose pups don’t seem to have any fear of this potential predator.

Lynda Sharpe, a behaviour ecologist, says that mongooses will lie on their backs to invite another mongoose to wrestle. While it may look like it's playing dead, the mongoose is most likely trying to lure the hornbill to play. Both behaviours are incredibly novel … and also incredibly funny.