Meerkat

The Meerkat is a member of the mongoose family.


A group of Meerkats is called a "mob", "gang", or "clan". A Meerkat mob often contains around 20 Meerkats at a time, but some super families have had 50 or more.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Meerkats forage in a group with one “sentry” on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. While looking for food, group members keep in touch by making soft murmuring sounds. Chirps and barks indicate a predator threat and will cause the entire group to scramble furiously back to the burrow. All members benefit if a group is large and healthy, providing more sentries to look out for eagles, cobras, and other predators. Their eyes are surrounded by black smudges, which help to limit the glare of the sun in the desert.

Key Facts

Family:
Herpestidae
Diet:
Beetles, insects, larvae, scorpions and small reptiles.
Life Span:
6 - 8 years wild | 12 - 14 years captivity
Distribution:
Endemic to the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa
Did you know?
Meerkats are able to kill and eat venomous scorpions and snakes without being hurt, because they are immune to the venom.

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