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MEERKATS. Tamara Murphy LT 130 Spring 2004. What is a Meerkat. Meerkats are small mammals that live in Southern Africa Meerkats make their homes in grass-lined burrows that are shared with ground squirrels and yellow mongooses. Scientific Name: Suricata Suricatta Oakland Zoo: Meerkat.

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meerkats

MEERKATS

Tamara Murphy

LT 130

Spring 2004

what is a meerkat
What is a Meerkat
  • Meerkats are small mammals that live in Southern Africa
  • Meerkats make their homes in grass-lined burrows that are shared with ground squirrels and yellow mongooses.
  • Scientific Name:

Suricata Suricatta

  • Oakland Zoo: Meerkat
meerkat characteristics
Meerkat Characteristics
  • Vision: Color, the dark eye markings act like built-in sunglasses
  • Feet: Non-retractable claws
  • Ears: Closeable
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Tail: 8 inches, used to balance the animal in an upright position
  • I’m a Meerkat http://www.pbs.org/kratts/world/africa/meerkat/
meerkat home
Meerkat Home
  • Home range: Southern Africa/Kalahari Desert
  • Dwelling: Grass-lined burrows
  • Toilet: Common latrine used by all members
  • Transience: Mob moves several times annually if food supply is depleted
social structure
Social Structure
  • Alpha male: dominate male of the mob, has breeding rights to the alpha female
  • Alpha female: dominate female of the mob, she is the only one that is supposed to breed
  • Beta male: subservient male, will leave the group by 3
  • Beta female: subservient female, will support the alpha meerkats
  • Pups: meerkat young, 10 months or younger
  • Babysitter: watches over young while the rest of the group is foraging for food
  • Sentry: Watches over the group
meerkat communication
Meerkat Communication

Meerkat communicate in Three Ways

  • Scent
  • Sound: Meerkats have over 20 different sounds
  • Body Language
meerkat diet
Meerkat Diet
  • Worms
  • Crickets
  • Scorpions
  • Small Rodents
  • Lizards
  • Small Snakes
  • Birds
  • Eggs
  • Fruit
  • Ant larvae (their favorite)
behavioral changes of meerkats in captivity
Behavioral Changes of Meerkats in Captivity
  • They no longer need to forage for food
  • Space is limited, meerkats will no longer be able to migrate from burrow to burrow, they will live in only one.
  • Their alert systems are dulled because the absence of predators
  • Meerkats live longer and grow larger in captivity
  • Meerkats are know to mate twice a year in captivity
famous meerkats
Famous Meerkats
  • Timone: Featured Disney’s Lion King
  • Ziziphus of the Lazuli Gang: She is a wild meerkat living in the Kalahari desert. She has been the focus of meaning documentaries.
summary
Summary
  • What is a Meerkat?
  • Meerkat Characteristics
  • Meerkat Home
  • Social Structure
  • Meerkat Communication
  • Meerkat Diet
  • Behavioral Changes in Captivity
  • Meerkat quiz Animal Planet :: Meerkat Unmasked