Meerkats are a member of the mongoose family and are about the size of a rabbit. They can drive off predators much larger than themselves with aggressive displays. Meerkats are highly social, living in colonies of up to 30 individuals. Colonies are dominated by an alpha male and an alpha female, and those are the only two who will reproduce. The rest of the colony, comprised of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents act as babysitters when pups are born. One or two serve as the main babysitters, staying with the pups while the rest go out to hunt.
- Conservation StatusLeast Concern
- Life spanup to 13 years
Body size1.5-2 lbs.
- Native habitat Semi-arid plains of southern Africa
- DietInsects, rodents, birds