This small mammal, belonging to the monogoose family, is native to parts of South America, southwestern Angola, the Namib Desert in Namibia, and Botswana's Kalahari Desert. 'Mobs' or 'gangs' of meerkats are made up of around 20 individual family members, but larger groups of 'super families' of around 50 or more are not uncommon.
The life span of a meerkat is around six or seven years, although this doubles for animals in captivity. These amazing creatures have no excess 'fat' stores and daily foraging is a necessity. A 'sentry' or 'guard' watches as the mob forage for food, and keeps an eye our for the predators. This usually lasts hour as the gang search for insects, lizards, snakes, scorpions, eggs, spiders, and small mammals. The sentry will 'bark' or whistle loudly if danger is approaching, but when all is well, the meerkat on duty will make peeping sounds to indicate relative safety.
This publication takes a look at the fascinating life of the meerkat , the history of the mammal and it natural habitat, as well as meerkat anatomy, populations, groups, and long-term survival.