Wild Animals

Meerkat

posted: 04/29/14
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Meerkat
Ecopic/Veer

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm a Meerkat!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: South African plains

What I Like to Eat: Insects, lizards, rats, birds, scorpions (we are immune to their venom), roots and bulbs

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: We are small mammals who are part of the mongoose family. Our name comes from the Afrikaans (Dutch population of South Africa).

Who We Are: Adult meerkats will grow to be about a foot tall and weigh no more than three pounds. Our fur comes in a variety of colors including silver, orange and brown.

Stand Tall: We're famous for one thing: standing upright on our hind legs turning our head from side to side. You've seen us do this on TV commercials many times.

Communal: We live, work and play in small groups. Small families make up our communities. We look for food in these groups with some of us foraging for feasts, while the rest take their posts looking out for birds ready to swoop down to make us their dinner. After we find food, we generally eat alone.

Houses: We live in cool from burrows that protect us from the hot sun in Africa. Communities of meerkats will live in and move from burrow to burrow. Our coats of fur keep us insulated during cooler months and prevent us from overheating during the scorching months.

Perfect Vision: Our eyesight is perfect. We also have a dark band around our eyes which diminishes the sun glare and helps us see bird predators coming down from on high.

Babies: Female meerkats give birth to up to four babies a year in the burrows. The entire family is responsible for teaching the young how to hunt and protect themselves from predators.

Who We Fear: Hawks and eagles are our biggest predators. We warn one another when predators are near by using a shrill call letting all know that it's time to take cover NOW.

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