-- the official Internet home of the meerkats

 Meerkat Information

We hope you find these facts helpful and entertaining:

Meerkat Vital Statistics

Vision: Color. The dark eye markings act like built-in sunglasses.

Feet: Non-retractable claws. Four toes.

Ears: Closeable.

Height: 12 inches (30 centimeters).

2 pounds (0.9 kilograms).

Light-absorbency: Called the "Solar Panel Of The Animal World," meerkats use their dark-skinned, sparsely furred bellies to warm up.

Taxonomy: Members of the mongoose family.

Tail: 8 inches (20 centimeters) long and used as a tripod to balance the animal in an upright position.

Activity: Diurnal (active during the day).

Life span: 12 to 14 years.

Society: A group of meerkats, usually five to thirty members, is called a "mob" or a "gang."

Meerkat Home

Home range: Southern Africa/Kalahari Desert

Dwelling: Grass-lined burrows that are shared with ground squirrels and yellow mongooses.

Toilet: Common latrine used by all members.

Transience: Mob moves several times annually if food supply is depleted.

Competitiveness: Meerkats are very territorial and will fiercely defend their home from other meerkat gangs.

© Roberta Stacy

Meerkat Predators

Guardianship: Meerkats are "snack size" for a number of animals, so one always stands guard while the others forage or nap.

Primary predators: Martial eagles and jackals.

911: Various alarm calls indicate different predators.

Meerkat Romance

Specialization: Alpha male and female do most of the breeding.

Litter size:
2 to 5.

Gestation: Eleven weeks.

Breeding season: October-April in the wild. Year-round in captivity.

Born with eyes and ears closed. Sparsely furred.

Helpfulness: Various adults will baby-sit the youngsters while the mother feeds.

Precociousness: Sexually mature at one year.

Meerkat Food

Diet: Scorpions (meerkats are immune to their venom), beetles, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, worms, crickets (FAST food), small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, tubers and roots.

Fellow Earthlings' Wildlife Center, Inc.
11427 West Drive
Morongo Valley, CA 92256
(760) 363-1344