Facts About Meerkats
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Facts About Meerkats

Basic facts about the Meerkats, members of the Mongoose family.

Everyone has their favorite animal. Mine is the Meerkat. The Meerkat is a member of the Mongoose family and lives in southern Africa. These animals can live about ten years in the wild and about fifteen years in captivity. They prosper in arid environments and are able to find moisture in the sand by using their long, powerful claws to dig in the sand for water. Meerkats are excellent hunters, feasting on a cuisine of grasshoppers, worms, crickets, and other small insects. Meers also can eat poisonous scorpions by biting off the stinger before engulfing this delicious meal. These are the basic facts about Meerkats, but not what makes them so interesting to me.

The most interesting fact about Meerkats is how they group themselves together. A group can be called a mob, a clan or sometimes a gang. They live together in impressive pacts in underground burrows. During the day, the Meerkats come out to forage for food. While the majorities are looking for food to feed themselves and their young, one Meerkat stands on higher ground and serves as a look-out for trouble. Trouble can range from other predators, to other animals looking to find a home without having to make one.

Another interesting fact is the altruistic behavior of Meerkats. Even Meers who have never had a litter of pups can lactate and feed the young of another mother. Meerkats engage in very social behavior, often seen wresting with each other or playing an afternoon game of tag. Adult Meerkats also teach their young how to hunt for their own food. This includes the dangerous hunt of the poisonous scorpion. As you can imagine, young Meerkat pups have to learn this skill very quickly or there could be dangerous consequences. Interestingly, groups of Meerkats will defend their home and territory to other clans of Meers.

It is very easy to see why Meerkats are my favorite animal. They are not only intelligent creatures, but have found a way through evolution to defend their livelihood. They show compassion towards each other and will defend their home at any cost.  If you have ever seen them in action, they are also humorous creatures to watch. Their playtime and hunting adventures are quite fascinating.  If you are interested in learning more about the behavior and daily lives of Meerkats, check out Meerkat Manor on the Animal Planet.

Sources:

National Geographic

Meerkat Info

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Comments (6)

Very interesting and well researched article about meerkats. I would love to vote for this but unfortuantely I ran out for today but will definately buzz it up!

Nice article! Meerkats are one of my favorite animals along with monkeys and camels!

Audra, in the U.K meerkats have a cult following due to an insurance company called 'Compare the market,com', they also have a sister site called 'Compare the meerkat.com', check it out, if you love meerkats, you'll love this.

Great report on one of my favorite animals. As a kid, I always wanted one as a pet. Now I know better.

I learned something new about Meercats. Thank you very much.

Very cool little animals.

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