Meerkats are adorable small animals that are related to mongooses. They are found in South Africa’s arid and semi-arid regions. Meerkats are hunted by hawks, eagles, and falcon but fortunately they are not endangered.
1. Meerkats are little in size. They can grow to a height of 12 inches and weigh nearly 2 pounds.
2. Meerkats live in groups called “mobs” that are comprised of 2-3 meerkat families. A single mob lives in a single burrow.
3. They are highly gregarious animals who enjoy playing and grooming one another. Apart from having fun, each participant of the mob has a specific role that benefits the entire group.
4. When they hunt, some members keep an eye out for predators while others plan the hunt.
5. In times of danger, meerkats use distinct sounds to inform other members of the mob.
6. Meerkats are highly territorial creatures. Their territory is about 4 square miles in size. They excavate tunnels across the entire territory and use them as refuge in times of peril.
7. Meerkats are insect hunters and eat scorpions, snakes, tiny lizards, and eggs. Additionally, they consume roots and bulbs.
8. They are immune to scorpion venom and snake venom.
9. Because they live in arid regions, they obtain all of their water requirements from the food they eat.
10. Meerkats have exceptional vision, sense of smell, and sense of hearing.
11. They examine their environment while standing on their hind legs. Females can even nurse their infants standing up.
12. Meerkats mate during the rainy season and produce a small number of litters each year. Female produces around two to five puppies. They are hairless, blind, and have blocked ears. Puppies spend a few of weeks in the burrow with their mother until they are ready to take solid food.
13. Meerkat adults care for their offspring in shifts.
14. Adult meerkats teach their young what to eat. Meerkat pups are fearful of predators and will seek refuge in the barrow if they observe an airplane.
15. Meerkats have a lifespan of up to ten years in the wild and up to thirteen years in captivity.