Mickey, Maude, Hanibelle
80% of diet is insects; rodents, birds, eggs, plants, mammals
jackals, raptors,snakes, lizards, mammals
Tropical grasslands, deserts & semi-desert areas
Related to the mongoose, meerkats have long, slim bodies with short limbs and a short, thin tail. The meerkat uses its tail to balance when standing upright. Black patches around the meerkat’s eyes deflect the sun’s glare. At the end of each “finger”, the meerkat has a long, non-retractable claw used for digging and catching prey.
Meerkats spend most of the day foraging for food (insects) beneath the sand. Each animal has an assigned duty, such as sentry, guard or babysitter. These duties change throughout the day. These animals live in large, underground burrows in colonies of up to 30 animals. Meerkats have partial immunity to the venom of scorpions and several snake species.
Within a colony, only the alpha pair of meerkats breeds. If any female of a “lower” rank breeds, the colony will kill the young and often will evict the mother of the litter. Wild meerkats can produce 4 litters of 3 pups (average) per year. The entire colony participates in rearing the pups and teaching them to survive.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
No two meerkats have the same stripes!Meerkats can stand on each other’s shoulders to gather honey in hives in trees.
Meerkats are called the “sun angel” and are believed to protect humans and livestock from werewolves, according to African folklore.