It is a small creature. It is Meerkat and belongs to the mongoose family. They are known for standing straight. But do you know why they stand erect? To get your answer you need to scroll below.
- The mongoose family includes meerkats, which resemble weasels.
- They are little creatures with brown and gray fur. Along with a dark tail tip, they also have dark patches around their eyes to shield their eyes from the sun.
- They are distinguished by their erect posture.
- From 1801, the word was applied to small mammals in South Africa, mainly as a result of the Dutch colonial settlers’ use of the term to describe several burrowing species.
- Its native name in South Africa is “suricate,” which may have descended from the French surikate, which itself may have Dutch origins.
- They vary in color. It comes in dark gray or light gray.
- Their body is covered with dark bars across the back and they have a black-tipped tail.
- They are 9-11 inches long.
- Females are slightly larger in comparison to males.
- They weigh around 1.4 -2.1 lb.
- They are cooperative.
- They cluster for warmth and mutual grooming.
- They are known to live in extended families known as clans, mobs, or gangs.
- They have helped nature. Additionally, you can witness digging crews cooperating to keep up the tunnels of their bunker.
Food & Diet
- Do you know they use their sense of smell to search for their food?
- They are carnivorous (insectivores), meaning they consume insects like beetles, spiders, crickets, centipedes, millipedes, and worms in addition to scorpions (whose venom they are immune to).
- In addition, they consume eggs, roots, tubers, little reptiles, and little animals.
Habitat & Range
- They are found in the grasslands and deserts of southern Africa.
- The Kalahari Desert serves as its habitat. This window is modal.
- A species of animal that is a member of the mongoose family is the meerkat.
- Its natural habitat is in southern Africa’s the Kalahari Desert.
- They have been known to live for more than 12 years in captivity.
- 5 to 15 years is the potential life expectancy in the wild.
- In groups, one female often serves as the leader and gives birth to the majority of the pups, transmitting the most genes to the following generation.
- By evicting the other females, either temporarily or permanently, or by murdering their pups, she can prevent them from reproducing.
- Pups are the young that are born underground, protected from predators.
- According to the San Diego Zoo, puppies weigh between 25 and 36 grams (0.9 and 1.3 ounces) at birth.
- Puppies are little, blind, hearing-impaired, and virtually hairless.
- They are a good hunter and their prey are insects, lizards, birds, and fruit.
- The major predators are snakes, jackals, and eagles, therefore this creature can be attacked from the ground or the air.
- While the others are busy searching for food, meerkats alternately guard the other members of the pack, keeping watch for any potential predators.
- Meerkat exaggerate their size when defending themselves or being attacked.
- It lowers its head, raises its tail, and arches its back while standing as tall as it can on all four legs.
- They will typically retreat to a burrow if an attack appears likely from aerial predators.
- An essential component of the food chain is the meerkat.
- Predators can feed on them.
- They also take a lot of invertebrates, perhaps to regulate the populations of their prey.
Meerkat as a Pet
- Technically, you could keep this creature as a pet. In reality, the majority of species that are readily available and thrive in captivity can be acquired individually.
- However, depending on how one defines a “pet,” some animals just make terrible pets, meerkats being one such instance.
- It has a list price of $17,820 and is available in a range of colors, including bespoke colors for an additional $1,450.
- The film follows the life of a meerkat named Flower from her birth until she rises to the position of leader of the Whiskers, a clan of meerkats, in a staged documentary with Whoopi Goldberg as the narrator.
Why do They Stand Up so straight?
- Typically, the post, or lookout, will balance itself by standing up straight on its hind legs and utilizing its tail.
- This allows it to soar as high as it can to search for predators.
- The Natural History on the Net resource estimates that there are roughly 500,000 meerkats living in the wild as a whole.
- The IUCN Red List now rates this species as Least Concern, and its population is stable.
Conservation & Threats
- There aren’t any significant risks to meerkat populations right now.
- Birds of Prey, such as hawks and eagles, and ground-dwelling predators like snakes that hunt meerkats on the ground pose the greatest threat to them.
- By raising awareness you may aid these creatures.
- You can also contribute to “The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project”, which uses the money it raises from ecotourism to pay farmers and landowners.
- Meerkat dig tunnels for safety, but they also use them to stay cool in the scorching desert sun.
- They can blend into the desert and hide from predators like eagles thanks to their tan and brown coats.
- The group may attempt to mob or assault the predator in a group if they feel threatened by it. Even though they tend to flee, they are capable of being formidable combatants.
- Because of their extreme bird phobia, young meerkats will flee into their burrows when they see an airplane.
- Similar to sunglasses for humans, the black patches that surround a their eyes help protect it from the sun’s continuous glare.
What is a Meerkat?
A little mongoose, that can be found throughout southern Africa. Its big head, large eyes, and pointed snout are distinguishing features.
What does a Meerkat look like?
They have bushy, brown-striped fur, a short, pointed face, and big eyes with black patches surrounding them. They are quite adorable. These incredibly social creatures live in tunnels that they have dug themselves using their long, keen claws.
How much is a Meerkat?
The Meerkat has a list price of $17,820 and is available in a range of colors, including bespoke colors for an additional $1,450. For more, click here.
Where can I find Meerkats?
They are mostly found in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. Due to their size, they are harder to notice than zebra or wildebeest and are less common.
What does a Meerkat eat?
Their primary source of food is insects, which they find via their heightened sense of smell. Aside from snakes and small rodents, they also consume fruit, birds, eggs, lizards, and as we have seen, venomous scorpions.