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6 animals with strong family bonds

By: Ali Berman on July 6, 2015, 3:35 p.m.
A family of dwarf mongooses

Photo: Alta Oosthuizen/Shutterstock

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Dwarf mongooses

Like elephants, dwarf mongooses live in family groups headed by the matriarch. Her monogamous mate is the second in charge, keeping an eye out for danger. The head female is the only female allowed to mate and gets first rights to food. After that, unlike in many other animal groups, the youngest are given food first, ensuring that the babies get enough to eat. The older offspring help care for the youngsters by cleaning them and bringing them food. When the mother dies, breaking up the original family unit, her children leave the group to either start their own or join another.

These super social animals also keep in touch even when they aren't together. As they go in search of food, they call out with short chirps, checking in with one another throughout the day. (It's kind of like mongoose texting.)