Meerkat Habitat Facts

Meerkat

Although meerkats are from felines, they are not from the feline’s family. These cute mammals, known as Suricata suricatta species are in a family known as mongoose. It is a kind of animal reminiscent of a monkey while running and kangaroo when standing.

Meerkats Habitat

They are found almost everywhere in the Kalahari Desert, located on the Botswana borders. Meerkat is an animal native to Africa. Kalahari is a desert in the south of Africa, covered by South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Although there is vegetation in the region, it is called desert since most of the year was dry. The main source of natural life in the desert is the rains in the summer. Meerkats have adapted perfectly to these arid conditions. Meerkats habitats are very limited.

A group of Suricatas together

Meerkats Facts

  • Although normally their families consist of 20 individuals, some groups appear to reach up to 50 individuals.
  • The biggest feature of Meerkats is that they are doing a division of labor among them. For their safety, at least 2 meerkats serve as permanent scouts.
  • An adult Meerkat can reach a height of about 30 centimeters and a weight of 1 kilogram.
  • They can live 12-14 years under protection while their life span is 6-7 years.
  • They close them to prevent dust in their ears.
  • Changes in climatic and social conditions affect the body weight, survival and reproduction of companies. For example, the rains coming in early summer increase growth and reproduction. An increase in winter colds and population density slows down growth.
  • The nests of the meerkats, which are social animals, are underground and have set up tunnels with multiple entrances underground.
  • They make their nests under the ground. They are also very skilled at digging the soil. They can dig a 2 meter tunnel in 10 minutes. They hide in their nest at night and go out only during the day.
  • The Meerkats, who are accustomed to the hot weather of the desert, therefore, make the sleeping rooms at least two meters below the ground, thus keeping the temperature constant.
  • Meerkats hug each other at night and sleep. When they wake up (the relevant meerkat seeks around), the meerkats first take a sun bath and then go to look for food, and they communicate with each other in three different ways, by scent, sound and body language.
  • They are animals that resemble ferrets and martens in structure and shape.
  • Since the Meerkats are small in size, they travel by jumping against the risk of crushing.
  • Watching meerkats, which stand on two feet, make a sound every 2 seconds during surveillance, while other meerkats report that everything is fine and they give an alarm by sounding growl in the face of danger from air or land. In this way, they will warn and protect meerkats that are chasing other prey.
  • The roles of the Meerkat family in the group are as follows: Alpha male, alpha female, beta male, beta female, babysitter, guard. Alpha male and alpha female are the dominant individuals of the group. Beta male and beta female also serve alpha members. The babysitter takes care of puppies while other meerkats are hunting. Watchman meerkat observes the dangers in the group. The watchman meerkat goes even to high places and trees and performs its duty.
  • Since they have the ability to dig tunnel quickly, they are not easy prey.
  • Meerkats, also known as the most emotional animal, die from sorrow when they see their loved ones in another group.
  • They can be mixed with weasels or ferrets in most African countries. Because of these similarities, they have never been a well-known species.
  • Meerkat enemies are the birds of prey and snakes. They can come from the air and feed the birds and snakes in the soil.

A Suricata in the Kalahari desert

What do Meerkat Eat?

  • Meerkats feed on reptile or poisonous insects. However, scientists have discovered that meerkats do not learn to eat dangerous animals (such as scorpions) themselves and are trained by adults.
  • Meerkats feeding in a herd and eating insects. Carnivore Meerkats feeds on scorpions and insects, which they dig out mostly from the soil.
  • Meerkats feed on reptiles such as frogs, lizards, small snakes and venomous insects such as centipedes.

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Scientific classification of Meerkat Habitat Facts

Meerkat Habitat Facts

Orders

The suricata are very friendly creatures who have a number of features that help them to protect them from their predators. They can raise alarms; maintain alertness in their packs, and standing in an upright position to seek refuge.
Suricatas are found to live in the southern tip of Africa and specifically in western and southern Namibia, southwestern Botswana and northern and western South Africa. They are also found in the Savannah areas and open plains in soils that are firm and hard.
Suricata are mainly insectivorous who feed on small invertebrates, eggs and vegetable components. They seek food by digging under the soils, grasses and caves. Their diet consists of 82% insects, along with 7% arachnids, 3% centipedes, 3% millipedes, 2% reptiles and 2% birds.
The average number of offspring’s that a meerkat has is about three at a time.  Their gestation period is around eleven weeks.  Both the male and female suricatas are sexually mature by the age of one. They are considered as an endangered species.

Meerkat Habitat Facts

Meerkat Habitat Facts

Conservation status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification

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Binomial name

Suricata suricatta

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