Latin name: Suricata suricatta
All for One!
- Being a gregarious animal, a clan includes on average a dozen members, but can reach 30 individuals. The sentry is the one tasked with keeping watch on their surroundings while the others are feeding.
- The meerkat has a strong resistance to the scorpion's venom and to venomous snakes like the cobra. When facing such an attacker, the clan forms a common front to confuse it and attempt to bite its neck.
- Communication is very important among meerkats. When an individual sees danger, it whistles and barks to sound the alert. The cries are different for land and aerial predators.
- A group's territory covers about 15 square kilometers and may contain up to five underground tunnels.
- It is one of the rare species whose habitat is not threatened; some populations are however dealing with tuberculosis. It would seem that individuals have contracted the disease by eating contaminated domestic garbage.
Distribution Southern Africa
Habitat Desert regions
Status Least concern
Zoo Zone Africa