A Meerkat is a squirrel size creature that belongs to the mongoose family. They live in the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa. They are extremely social animals and live in groups that are generally known as mobs or gangs.
They are adapted to living in harsh dry desert environments and their special adaptations also help them to burrow. Meerkats have light brown fur with a gray and brown tint to it with stripes on their back. They are omnivorous creatures which mean they eat both plants and animals.
Quick Facts: –
- Throughout their foraging area, they dig safe places that are known as bolt-holes. These bolt-holes are used in the case of emergency to hide from predators.
- Meerkats are identified by their long bodies, short flat ears and their ability to stand on their back feet.
- A typical meerkats mob can include as many as fifty members. These clans are generally formed when two or more families start to live together.
- Females can give birth to one or eight pups at once but most commonly 3 to 4 pups are born.
- Their average life span in the wild is eight years and in captivity it can be as long as thirteen years.
- Their scientific name is Suricata suricatta and they belong to the Herpestidae family.
- Their burrows can be 5 metres long and contain multiple entrances, tunnels, and rooms.
- They have excellent eyesight and can spot predators more than 300 meters away. Eagles and other large birds of prey will attack and eat meerkats along with hyenas and jackals.
- Adult meerkats are immune to the venom of a scorpion but that doesn’t mean that the sting still won’t hurt. They also like to feed on poisonous snakes.
- They are incredible diggers and can dig up their own body weight in earth in just a couple of seconds.
- They can recognize each others voice, callings.