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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

28.05.2015

Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora      

Family: Herpestidae

Genus: Suricata

Species: Slender-tailed meerkat    

 

Description

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 consisting of  up to 30 meerkats in a group.  To look out for predators, one or more meerkats stand sentry, to warn others of approaching dangers. When a predator is spotted, the meerkat performing as sentry gives a warning bark or whistle, and other members of the group will run and hide.

Habitat

Meerkats are widespread in the western parts of southern Africa, including western and southern Namibia, south-western Botswana.

Diet

Meerkats are primarily insectivores, but also eat other animals like  lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, plants, eggs, small birds and fungi. Meerkats are immune to certain types of venom, including the very strong venom of the scorpions. Main predators of meerkats are eagles, jackals and sometimes snakes.

Reproduction

Meerkats become sexually mature at about two years of age and can have one to four pups in a litter. The babies, called pups, are born weighing 25 to 36 grams. In addition to being small, pups are also blind, deaf and almost hairless. The whole family, including the father, pitches in to help raise the new additions. Meerkats have exceptional sense of smell, they are able to discriminate the odour of their kin from the odour of their non-kin.

Conservation Status 

Meerkats are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “Least Concern”. They are present in several large and well-managed protected areas, including those in Southern Africa.



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