The Meerkat

The Meerkat

Height: 30 cm (12 inches).
Weight: 5 kgs (10 lbs).
Habitat: Diurnal; Grass-lined burrows.
Grouping: Usually five to thirty members.
Breeding: October - April, 2 - 5 young.
Diet: Scorpions, insects, small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, tubers and roots. Members of the mongoose family.


Meerkat Picture -1
The Meerkat; although one of the smaller and least spectacular in the African Animal Kingdom, remains an interesting and endearing character. We've adopted the meerkat as our "spokes-animal"!

Statistics

Vision: Color. The dark eye markings act like built-in sunglasses.
Feet: Non-retractable claws. Four toes. Ears: Closeable.
Tail: 8 inches long and used as a tripod to balance the animal in an upright position.
Activity: Diurnal (active during the day).
Life span: 12 to 14 years.
Society: A group of meerkats, usually five to thirty members is called a "mob" or a "gang."

Meerkat Picture -2

Meerkat Home

Home range: Southern Africa/Kalahari Desert
Dwelling: Grass-lined burrows that are shared with ground squirrels and yellow mongoose.
Toilet: Common latrine used by all members.
Transience: Mob moves several times annually if food supply is depleted.
Competitiveness: Meerkats are very territorial and will fiercely defend their home from other meerkat mobs.
Guardianship: Meerkats are "snack size" for a number of animals so one always stands guard while the others forage or nap.
Primary predators: Martial eagles and jackals.
Meerkat Romance: Alpha male and female do most of the breeding.
Litter size: 2 to 5. Usually once a year.
Gestation: Eleven weeks.
Breeding season: October - April.
Helplessness: Born with eyes and ears closed. Sparsely furred.
Helpfulness: Various adults will baby-sit the youngsters while the mother feeds.
Precociousness: Sexually mature at one year.

Meerkat Diet Scorpions (meerkats are immune to their venom) beetles, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, worms, crickets (FAST food), small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, tubers and roots.


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