Meerkats are small mammals in the mongoose family.
Other Names: Suricates,
Meerkat in Foreign Languages:
Arabic: suriqaat / mirkaat
Chinese Mandarin: húmeng
Russian: surikát / (surikáta /
Spanish: suricata / suricato
Size: Meerkats are approximately 12 inches long
and weigh approximately 22 lbs. Female meerkats are
slightly larger than their male counterparts.
Habitat: Meerkats are found in Southern Africa.
Description: Meerkats have long and slender
bodies with long black-tipped tails. Meerkats have long,
sharp claws on their front paws, that hey use for burrowing.
Meerkats have long pronounced and pointy muzzles.
Behavior: Meerkats build complex burrows with
that will on average have 15 entrance and exit holes.
The burrow will have elaborate tunnels and chambers
at several levels, some as deep as 6.5 feet deep.
Diet: Meerkats eat lizards, snakes, scorpions,
spiders, plants, eggs, small mammals, millipedes, centipedes
and, ocassionally small birds.
Communication: Meerkats have scent glands
to mark their territory by leaving their scents
on rocks and plants.
Did You Know?
Unlike many other animals meerkats
can kill and eat venomous snakes and
scorpions without being harmed by the
poison. Meerkats are immune to the toxic
Gestation: Meerkats carry their young for approximately
Birth: Meerkats give birth to litters of 1 -
6 babies. Meerkats weigh 1.2 ounces at birth.
Sexually Mature: Meerkats sexually mature around
1.5 years of age.
Life Span: The average life span of the
meerkat is 10 years in the wild. Hawks, jackals
and snakes prey on meerkats.
Did You Know?
There are 3 species of meerkats.
Social Structure: Meerkats live in large organized
social groups of approximately 30 members, called a
gang or a mob. The mob consists of several family gorups,
and has a single dominant male and female who produce
most of the group's offspring. Meerkats in the mob will
work togther to rear and protect the young.