Interesting facts about meerkats

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We found 20 interesting facts about meerkats

African gangsters

Suricata suricatta, known as meerkat in English-speaking countries. The name is taken from Dutch, which may be surprising, especially since in Dutch it means... vervet.

1

The species was first described in 1776 by the German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber.

2

The body length of meerkats ranges from 24 to 30 centimeters.

3

The weight of meerkats ranges from 600 to 900 grams.

4

They live only in Africa, in the deserts of the Kalahari, Namib, South Africa and southwestern Angola.

5

The fur around the eyes is darker than the rest of the body, which protects meerkats from eye damage caused by sunlight.

6

The characteristic posture of meerkats - standing on their hind legs - is designed to explore the environment and regulate body temperature in the morning.

7

Meerkats live in clans or gangs.

Clans demonstrate strong social bonds. They have their own guards who warn others about danger with special sounds, which depend on where the danger comes from - from the ground or from the air.

8

The average clan consists of 20 individuals, although there are also those that include 50 meerkats.

9

Meerkat burrows have an extensive network of tunnels and many exits.

Their depth can reach two meters.

10

They can distinguish gang members by sounds.

11

They hunt only in packs.

They also show incredible courage when fighting off a predator that threatens them.

12

Meerkats that remain in their burrows while hunting take care of the young that remain there.

13

Meerkats are omnivores.

Most often they feed on insects, but they also hunt scorpions, snakes, lizards, and eat eggs and fruits.

14

Contrary to popular belief, meerkats are not immune to scorpion venom.

Adult meerkats teach their young how to eat arthropods safely by bringing dead scorpions back to their burrow.

15

Each gang is led by an alpha pair.

16

One to eight cubs are born in one litter, although most often there are three or four individuals.

17

Meerkats mark their territory with scent.

The territory of one clan occupies approximately 25 square meters.

18

If meerkat gangs cannot effectively contain each other, they wage turf wars with each other.

They line up and rush at each other.

19

Their average life expectancy is 8 years.

20

The meerkats of the Kalahari Desert have traditions that they pass on from generation to generation.

This was proven by researchers from the University of Cambridge.

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