Meerkat

The Kat That Barks

Classification Order


Kingdom:Animalia

Phylum:Chordata

Class:Mammalia

Order:Carnivora

Family:Herpestidae

Genus:Suricata

Scientific Name:Suricata suricatta

Common Name:Meerkat

Other Name(s):Suricate


Evolutionary Relationships

Meerkats are part of the mongoose family. They are known as slender-tailed mongooses.

Size and Weight

Meerkats can range in size from 9.75 inches to 11.75 inches in height, with a tail ranging from 7.5 inches to 9.5 inches. They usually weigh less then 2.2 pounds.
Big image

Diet

Meerkats are omnivores, but more specifically, they eat insects, lizards, birds, and fruit.

how do they move?

Meerkats stand rear legs, and they are famous for their upright posture. They are very active during the day, and sleep in their burrows at night. If the temperature gets too hot during midday, then they will go underground to cool off.


Big image

Social Interactions

Meerkats live in large groups with as many as forty members, and these groups are known as mobs. There is usually one dominant male and female that mate in the pack with other members of the pack foraging and taking care of the young. Each member of the pack has a job, both males and females take care of the young with siblings teaching them survival skills. There is always one meerkat that acts as a sentinel that watches over the mob and will bark to notify the group of a nearby predator.

Endangered Status

Meerkats are not on the endangered species list.

Habitat

They live in Southern tip of africa in desserts and grasslands. Meerkats live with the many members of their family in burrows. These burrows can be very long and deep. along with providing shelter, the burrows provide protection from predators and from the harsh weather conditions.
Big image

Predators

Meerkats have many natural predators including hawks, eagles, and jackals. Meerkats don’t have a defense against hawks or eagles, so they will simply run away to avoid capture. If they are caught off guard, adult meerkats will use their body to cover their young against aviary predators. On land, meerkats will use various techniques to scare off predators, protect themselves or attack if possible. Alone, they will try to make themselves seem bigger by standing on their hind legs while growling and hissing. If there are several, they will attack as a pack in a mob. When alone, if the predator does not get scared and leave, they will continue to growl, bare their teeth and show their claws while lying on their back in order to protect their neck.

Interesting Facts

Markings under their eyes act like sunglasses to protect them against the sun. Meerkats love to eat scorpions and are immune to the venom. They are very territorial and will fight against other animals such as snakes to protect their home.
Meerkat Mischief