MeerkatMeerkats at Los Angeles Zoo, California.A meerkat in the Kalahari Desert
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Meercat

The meerkat or suricate, is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family, it inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob" or "gang". more...

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Name

Meerkat is an English loan from Dutch meaning lake cat. However the name has been replaced by stokstaartje (little stick tail) and the word only kept it's meaning in Afrikaans and - by loan - in English.

Anatomy

The meerkat is a small diurnal herpestid whose weight averages approximately 731 grams (males) and 720 grams (females), with long and slender body and limbs which give it a body length of between 25 and 35 cm and an added tail length of 17-25 cm. Its tail (which is not bushy like all other mongoose species) is long, thin and tapering to a pointed tip which is always coloured black, the meerkat will use its tail to balance when standing vertical. Its face also tapers coming to a point at the nose, which is brown. The meerkats eyes always have black patches surrounding them, these act like an equivalent to sunglasses and allow the animal to see very clearly on bright days, even when looking directly at the sun. This aids the meerkat greatly, as airborne predators often fly in front of the sun so as to avoid detection. The meerkat has small, black, crescent shaped ears that have the ability to close when digging to prevent sand entering.

Meerkats have strong, 2 cm long, curved claws used for digging for prey and altering their underground burrows, they have four toes on each foot and long, slender limbs. The colour of the coat is usually fawn peppered with gray, tan, or brown with a silver tint. They have short, parallel stripes across their backs, these extend from the base of the tail to the shoulders and are unique to each animal. The underside of the meerkat has no markings but instead a patch on their belly which is only sparsely covered in hair and shows the black skin underneath, the meerkat uses this area on its belly to absorb heat when it stands on its rear legs, which is usually done first thing in the morning to warm up after cold desert nights.

The meerkat's diet is mainly insectivorous, but they will also consume lizards, snakes, spiders, plants, eggs and small mammals. Like all mongoose species, the meerkat has developed an immunity to many venoms, this allows them to eat scorpions (including the sting) and some snakes without fear of illness, poison or death. They have no fat stores so if they don't forage for food every day they will die.

Reproduction

Meerkats become sexually mature at about one year of age and have, on average, three young per litter and the wild meerkat will have up to three litters a year. Meerkats are iteroparous and can reproduce any time of the year but most births occur in the warmer seasons. Reports show that there is no precopulatory display, the male will fight with the female until she submits to him and copulation will begin. Gestation lasts approximately eleven weeks and the young are born within the underground burrow and are altricial. The young's ears will open at about 10 days of age, and eyes at 10-14 days, they are weaned between 49 and 63 days. They will not come above ground until at least three weeks of age and will stay with babysitters near the burrow, it will be another week or so until they join the adults on a foraging party. Usually, the alpha pair reserve the right to mate and will normally kill any young not their own to ensure that their offspring has the best chance of survival. They may also exile or kill the mothers of the offending offspring.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Legs: The Tale of a Meerkat Lost and Found by Sarah J. Dodd Book The Fast FreeLegs: The Tale of a Meerkat Lost and Found by Sarah J. Dodd Book The Fast Free $8.32 List price:  Previous Price $13.89 Harmony Kingdom Meerkats ~ All Angles Covered ~ Treasure Jests ~ Treasure BoxHarmony Kingdom Meerkats ~ All Angles Covered ~ Treasure Jests ~ Treasure Box $24.95
New Left Handlebar Kill Switch assembly 2&3 prong plugs 50-90cc Falcon MeerkatNew Left Handlebar Kill Switch assembly 2&3 prong plugs 50-90cc Falcon Meerkat $29.99 10" Meerkat Plush Stuffed Animal Soft Animal Den10" Meerkat Plush Stuffed Animal Soft Animal Den $1.00
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Petcock Fuel Gas Tank Swtch Valve Fit For Kazuma Falcon 90 Atv Meerkat Redcat 50Petcock Fuel Gas Tank Swtch Valve Fit For Kazuma Falcon 90 Atv Meerkat Redcat 50 $6.15 Calico Critters Spotter Meerkat Triplets - Epoch Sylvanian Families - Cc1573Calico Critters Spotter Meerkat Triplets - Epoch Sylvanian Families - Cc1573 $80.00
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Meerkats Harmony Kingdom Carved Trinket Box from EnglandMeerkats Harmony Kingdom Carved Trinket Box from England $55.00 Animal Fabric - Born Free Meerkat Safari Nature Scene - Fabri-Quilt YardAnimal Fabric - Born Free Meerkat Safari Nature Scene - Fabri-Quilt Yard $10.98
Atv Carb Carburetor 50cc 70cc 90cc 110cc Oem Pz16 Genuine Kazuma Meerkat RedcaAtv Carb Carburetor 50cc 70cc 90cc 110cc Oem Pz16 Genuine Kazuma Meerkat Redca $173.30 Meet the Meerkat - Paperback By Lunde, Darrin - GoodMeet the Meerkat - Paperback By Lunde, Darrin - Good $4.08
Baby Meerkats Mass Market Paperbound Ginjer L. ClarkeBaby Meerkats Mass Market Paperbound Ginjer L. Clarke $6.06 Diy 5D Full Drill Diamond Painting Embroidery Cross Stitch Kits Couple Gift ArtDiy 5D Full Drill Diamond Painting Embroidery Cross Stitch Kits Couple Gift Art $8.99 to $18.99
Ty Beanie Boos - Rebel the Meerkat (6 Inch) New - Mint with Mint TagsTy Beanie Boos - Rebel the Meerkat (6 Inch) New - Mint with Mint Tags $34.90 That Naughty Meerkat! Hardcover Ian WhybrowThat Naughty Meerkat! Hardcover Ian Whybrow $7.21
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Littlest Pet Shop Hasbro #1564 Purple Tan Meerkat 2009 New From PackageLittlest Pet Shop Hasbro #1564 Purple Tan Meerkat 2009 New From Package $7.99 Was:  Previous Price $9.99 13" Meerkat Sos Save Our Space realistic Plush Stuffed Animal Soft Toy 2003 Tan13" Meerkat Sos Save Our Space realistic Plush Stuffed Animal Soft Toy 2003 Tan $19.83
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		House Of Lloyd Motion Activated Musical Meerkat CarolersNew listing House Of Lloyd Motion Activated Musical Meerkat Carolers $19.99 Free Adopt Me Mega Fr Meerkat w/Purchase Of Original Digital PhotographFree Adopt Me Mega Fr Meerkat w/Purchase Of Original Digital Photograph $12.00
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Disney Parks Lion King Pumbaa Warthog and Timon Meerkat Large Plush Toy 15"Disney Parks Lion King Pumbaa Warthog and Timon Meerkat Large Plush Toy 15" $34.99 New listing
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New Atv Gas Fuel Tank Kazuma Meerkat Redcat 50Cc I Gt07New Atv Gas Fuel Tank Kazuma Meerkat Redcat 50Cc I Gt07 $29.00 High Flow Air Filter For Kazuma Meerkat 50Cc Falcon 90Cc Redcat 110Cc Atv.High Flow Air Filter For Kazuma Meerkat 50Cc Falcon 90Cc Redcat 110Cc Atv. $11.01 Was:  Previous Price $12.95
Rebel the Meerkat Ty Beanie Boo Babies plush stuffed animal 6" high Damaged TagRebel the Meerkat Ty Beanie Boo Babies plush stuffed animal 6" high Damaged Tag $24.00 36x Micro Brix Series 4 Box Of 36 Brand New Box Violin Koala Owl Meerkats Phone36x Micro Brix Series 4 Box Of 36 Brand New Box Violin Koala Owl Meerkats Phone $149.88
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Meerkat Manor: Season 3 Dvd (3-Disc Set) Animal Planet OopMeerkat Manor: Season 3 Dvd (3-Disc Set) Animal Planet Oop $19.99 Carburetor for Meerkat Redcat 50cc 70cc 80cc Atv Gas Sport QuadCarburetor for Meerkat Redcat 50cc 70cc 80cc Atv Gas Sport Quad $24.96
Wild Republic Wwf Adoption Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) ~ Nwt ~ 9 inches. Mint!Wild Republic Wwf Adoption Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) ~ Nwt ~ 9 inches. Mint! $7.99 Vinyl Wall Decal Animal Meerkats Children's Room Decor Stickers Mural (g220)Vinyl Wall Decal Animal Meerkats Children's Room Decor Stickers Mural (g220) $21.99 to $69.99
Little Meerkat's Big Panic: A Story About Learning New Ways to Feel Calm: UsedLittle Meerkat's Big Panic: A Story About Learning New Ways to Feel Calm: Used $14.31 Hagen Renaker Meerkat # 3278 miniature ceramic figurineHagen Renaker Meerkat # 3278 miniature ceramic figurine $8.99
Wild Republic Meerkat 8" and 12” PlushWild Republic Meerkat 8" and 12” Plush $24.99 Group of Meerkats Looking to the Side Africa Photo Poster Art Print - Pick SizeGroup of Meerkats Looking to the Side Africa Photo Poster Art Print - Pick Size $21.99 to $24.99
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		Wade Yellow Meerkat 2011 FairNew listing Wade Yellow Meerkat 2011 Fair $14.00 Herend Key Lime Fishnet Porcelain Standing Meerkat FigurineHerend Key Lime Fishnet Porcelain Standing Meerkat Figurine $295.00
Kazuma Meerkat Front Fender Plastic Redcat Wahoo 50 Red M Aps01Kazuma Meerkat Front Fender Plastic Redcat Wahoo 50 Red M Aps01 $54.95 Aurora World Destination Nation Meerkat Plush Light Brown 11 inchesAurora World Destination Nation Meerkat Plush Light Brown 11 inches $14.95
Meet the Meerkat Picture Book Darrin LundeMeet the Meerkat Picture Book Darrin Lunde $6.21 Little Paws “Tosca” Meerkat Figurine 6" High Ceramistone NewLittle Paws “Tosca” Meerkat Figurine 6" High Ceramistone New $37.99
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		Northwood Carnival Glass Leaf Columns squatty 6 1/2" vase Amethyst RadiumNew listing Northwood Carnival Glass Leaf Columns squatty 6 1/2" vase Amethyst Radium $79.99 Carburetor & Air Filter For Kazuma Meerkat Viper Falcon 50cc 90cc 110ccCarburetor & Air Filter For Kazuma Meerkat Viper Falcon 50cc 90cc 110cc $23.95
Meerkat Manor: Season 1 (3-Disc Set) Animal Planet Dvd Set.Brand NewMeerkat Manor: Season 1 (3-Disc Set) Animal Planet Dvd Set.Brand New $14.99 Diy 5D Cartoon Kids Gift Diamond Painting Embroidery Cross Stitch With ToolDiy 5D Cartoon Kids Gift Diamond Painting Embroidery Cross Stitch With Tool $8.99 to $18.99
Vinyl Wall Decal Meerkats Animals Safari Wildlife Kids Room Stickers (g221)Vinyl Wall Decal Meerkats Animals Safari Wildlife Kids Room Stickers (g221) $21.99 to $62.99 6-Wires Key Ignition Switch for Kazuma Meerkat 50Cc Falcon RedCat Atv Quad6-Wires Key Ignition Switch for Kazuma Meerkat 50Cc Falcon RedCat Atv Quad $15.88
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Prices current as of last update, 05/18/22 11:41pm.

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