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What are Meerkats - Physical features and Social life of Meerkats

BY: Jo Justin | Category: Pets | Submitted: 2010-03-23 08:49:01
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Article Summary: "Meerkats are animals that are at times kept as pets, but the fact is that they are an amazing group of animals. this article lists out some of the most important features of meerkats..."

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The Meerkats are a group of animals that usually live in the Southern most part of Africa. In fact they are more commonly seen in the counties of South Africa and others near the country. There are many features of these animals that make them stand out in terms of their life and habits. One of the most amazing features that can be seen in these animals that are seldom seen in any of the other animals is that these animals are all very social and live in colonies. There are also many other amazing features that are present in these animals.

Physical features:

The Meerkats are all about 35 to 55 cm's in length. This makes them to be very small and they look like a mongoose. They are all mammals and the young ones that these animals have are very tiny when they are born. They are not able to open their eyes in the first few days of their life. This makes them to be very vulnerable and in fact some of these small animals are all killed and eaten by the bigger animals. The animals are covered by thick fur that is usually brown or tanned in color.

Social life of Meerkats:

The social life of these animals are very interesting. They live in colonies by burrowing under the ground. As these animals are living as a family, they take care of the younger animals once they get growing. There are some animals that regularly baby sit the young ones even though they are not their own young ones. Other than this, the bigger animals also groom the young ones. The smaller animals are taught the methods of hunting and eating their prey.
There is a dominant animal in the pack and it is usually a female. This female meerkat tries to dominate and subdue the other animals. This causes so much stress in the other females in the group that they rarely become pregnant. This makes it possible for the dominant animal's young ones to survive and grow. There are very few instances of a male Meerkats being the dominant animal in a group. The domination of the animal is based on succession and also on the weight of the animal.

Other features of lifestyle of Meerkats:

Meerkats are animals that live in the arid and desert like lands of the Southern part of Africa. The food that they consume is usually both animal based and also plant based. They usually eat fruits and also other insects, scorpions and smaller animals. They are able to stand on their hind legs and try to watch out for the presence of any predators. If there are any predators around, then they are able to sound an alarm and all the animals run into their burrows.

These are some of the amazing features of a meerkat. These animals have caught the attention of human beings because of the social behavior that they display. Even a television serial on Animal planet is based on these animals.

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Comments on this article: (2 comments so far)

Comment Comment By Comment Date
we miss you flower. watch meerkat manor john rolfe 2010-09-12 18:18:52 325
very informative page.......... athmaja 2012-10-10 04:34:34 1531

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