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Saturday, 7 January 2012

Meet the Incredibly Cute And Intelligent Meerkats

The Meerkat (also known as Suricate) is an incredibly cute mammal belonging to the mongoose family. They live in large bands in the dry, open country in southern Africa, especially in the semi-desert regions of Namibia, southwestern Angola, Botswana and in South Africa. Meerkat groups utilize large underground burrows with multiple entrances, tunnels and rooms. Living underground keeps them safe from predators and out of harsh African heat.

Meerkats merely go outside during the daytime. Every morning, as the sun rises, the gang comes into sight and starts searching for their preferred food, which includes small reptiles, birds, eggs, insects and fruit. These amazing creatures live in highly organized societies. While looking for food, one or more Meerkats, called a sentry keeps a look-out for danger. For example, if a sentry senses that a bird of prey, such as a Hawk or an Eagle is approaching, it will let out a high-pitched squeal, sending the gang rushing for cover. Back at the burrow, babysitters stay behind to watch over newborn pups. This duty alternates to different members of the gang, and a sitter may frequently go all day with no food.

Females give birth to two to four young every year in one of the group's burrows. Fathers and siblings help to raise Meerkat young, teaching them to play and scavenge and alerting them to the ever present danger from above. Young Meerkats are so afraid of predatory birds that even airplanes will send them diving for cover.

1 comment:

Sue Yancey said...

I like your blog travel and animals are some of the things I like.

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