Desert, scrub and rocky grassland across Africa.
Scorpions, beetles, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, worms, crickets, small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, tubers and roots.
Meerkats are a type of mongoose. A group of meerkats, usually five to thirty members, is called a "mob" or a "gang”. They are very territorial and will fiercely defend their home from other meerkat gangs. When feeding, one member of the group acts as a sentry watching out for predators. Using their sharp claws, they dig huge burrows with tunnel systems for the colony. They communicate by sound using a variety of calls to signal certain situations such as being lost, alarm calls, pup feeding calls, guarding calls and foraging calls.
The female has 2 to 5 young, usually once a year, after a gestation period of 11 weeks. The young are born with eyes and ears closed and are sparsely furred. Various adults will baby-sit the youngsters while the mother feeds.
There are no major threats to the meerkat.
The meerkat occurs within many well-managed and protected areas.
- Latin Name: Suricata suricatta
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Viverridae
- Conservation status: Least Concern
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