Meerkats live in family groups! Meerkats are tan, brown, and gray in color with a silver tint. Short stripes on the back are unique to each meerkat like a human fingerprint. Like people, meerkats are very social animals and live in groups called clans. Look for some of the following common behaviors: (a) a meerkat on guard duty watching out for the others, (b) a meerkat on guard duty making a peeping sound, (c) a meerkat making a growling sound while searching for food, (d) a meerkat marking its territory with scent using a gland near its rear with which it will rub on anything and everything, (e) meerkats rubbing against each other to help express affection and share scents.
- Meerkats eat a wide variety of invertebrates including crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, scorpions, and millipedes similar to those found in El Paso’s Chihuahuan Desert. They also eat larger animals like lizards and small rodents.
- Meerkat groups utilize several different burrows and move from one to another to stay cool, even under the broiling African sun.
- Females give birth to two to four young each year.
- They often stand on their rear legs and gaze alertly over the southern African plains where they live.
Species: S. Suricatta
Meerkats live in the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa.