Suricata suricata

Description

With bushy brown- striped fur, a small pointed face and large eyes surrounded by dark patches. They average about 50 centimeters long, including their tail. These extremely social animals live together in burrows, which they dig with their long, sharp claws. Living underground keeps mobs safe from predators and out of the harsh African heat. These burrows can be 5 meters long and contain multiple entrances, tunnels and rooms. One group of Meerkats can used up to 5 separate burrow systems at a time.

Food

Meerkats use their keen sense of smell to locate foods. Their natural diet consists of beetles, caterpillar, spiders and scorpion. They will also eat small reptiles, birds, eggs, fruit and plants.

Distribution

Meerkats live in the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa.

Breeding

A baby meerkat is referred to as a pup and everyone helps look after and protect the pups once they are a certain age. Only the alpha female will breed and she will usually give birth to 2-6 pups.