Slender-Tailed Meerkat

'Suricata suricatta'


The full name for this cute animal is actually the 'Slender-Tailed Meerkat' and its scientific name is 'Suricata suricatta'.

They live in the desert in South Africa. They live in clans (also called a ‘mob’ or ‘gang’) of some 20 Meerkats. They live for about 12 to 14 years, weigh around 725grams and has a body size of 25-35cm, its tail is 17-25cm.

Meerkats forage in a group with one "sentry" on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. Sentry duty is usually approximately an hour long. Baby meerkats do not start foraging for food until they are about 1 month old, and do so by following an older member of the group who acts as the pup's tutor.[3] The meerkat standing guard makes peeping sounds when all is well. If the meerkat spots danger, it barks loudly or whistles.

The clan is lead by a senior couple known as an ‘Alpha Pair’. Usually, the ‘Alpha Pair’ reserves the right to mate and normally kills any young not its own, to ensure that its offspring has the best chance of survival. The dominant couple may also evict, or kick out the mothers of the offending offspring. New meerkat groups are often formed by evicted females pairing with roving males.

Meerkats are small burrowing animals, living in large underground networks with multiple entrances which they leave only during the day. They are very social, living in colonies averaging 20–30 members. Animals in the same group regularly groom each other to strengthen social bonds. The alpha pair often scent-mark subordinates of the group to express their authority.

Meerkat calls may carry specific meanings, with particular calls indicating the type or the location of a predator. How these calls work is not yet clear.

For more information Wikipedia.