8 Meerkat Facts for Kids
Meerkat’s have become quite famous the last few years with their own show on a cable network that is viewed worldwide. They are an interesting animal species that are very entertaining. They are native to southern Africa. They live on the dry plains. They have an unusual diet of venomous snakes, scorpions and spiders.
1. They travel and live in a “gang”. The burrow into the ground and create a Meerkat city with up to 30 residents at any given time. This group is referred to as a “gang” or a “mob”. They live together and have a very advanced communication system in place to help them alert to strangers, alert to predators and find food.
2. The adult Meerkats take turns standing guard while the other adults look for food. The Meerkat in charge of guarding the gang or mob will climb to the highest visual point, stand on its hind legs and stand watch if it sees a predator headed its way they let out a huge barking noise to alert the hunters and they will all scatter back into the ground.
3. Meerkats have very long nails that they use to dig into the ground and construct their “village”. Their claws also come in handy when it comes to digging for their dinner and picking up their prey.
4. Their ears are also a unique adaptation. They are able to close their ears off so that the dirt does not get in them.
5. Meerkat’s live their entire lives with their gang. They never leave their home. The Meerkat is a small carnivorous animal that is from the mongoose family. They stand less than 1foot tall but have very big personalities.
What Makes Them So Interesting?
6. Meerkats are captivating to watch. They have a very efficient community system that helps them to be successful. They also have human like behaviors that are fascinating. They tend to their young as protectors and they maintain strong family ties which also endears them to humans.
7. The Meerkat has a life span of about 15 years in captivity but only about half that in the wild because they have a slew of natural predators that range from snakes to birds and everything in between. They seem to live in gangs because there is safety in numbers.
Meerkats give birth to live young like other mammals. Each litter contains up to three babies. They are born after a 77 day gestation period.