Meerkats

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Meerkats for Sale.

Meerkat , (Suricata suricatta), also spelled mierkat, also called suricate, burrowing member of the mangoosfamily (Herpestidae), found in southwestern Africa, that is unmistakably recognizable in its upright “sentinel” posture as it watches for predators. The meerkat is slender and has a pointed little face, tiny ears, and black eye patches. Body length is about 29 cm (11 inches), and the smooth, pointed tail is 19 cm long. Color varies from dark to grizzled light gray or tan, with broad dark bars across the back and a black-tipped tail. Adults weigh less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), with older dominant breeders heavier than subordinates. Easily tamed, the meerkat is sometimes kept as a pet to kill rodents.

Meerkats live in cooperative packs of 3 to 25 with partially overlapping home ranges of a few square kilometres, which they mark with secretions of the anal glands. Packs will chase or fight one another if they meet. Meerkats shelter in burrow systems having multiple entrances and measuring up to 5 metres (16 feet) across. Several levels of tunnels and chambers extend to 1.5 metres below ground. Each home range contains about five such warrens. Packs spend the night inside, and pups are born there. They also retreat into their tunnels for an afternoon rest to avoid the heat of midday. While the temperature may be 38 °C (100 °F) on the surface, it is 23 °C (73 °F) a metre below. Meerkats probably dig these warrens themselves, although they have been reported to move in with South African ground squirrels (Xerus inauris).

 

 

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