IUCN red list status:
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Meerkats are found in the deserts and grasslands of Africa, including southwestern Botswana, western and southern Namibia, and north and west South Africa.
Their diet is insectivorous, eating beetles, spiders and crickets, alongside eggs and roots they uncover while foraging.
Meerkats can live anywhere between 5 and 15 years.
Dominant females have up to 4 litters each year, with 3-7 pups per litter. Born underground, pups emerge after 3 weeks.
About the Slender - Tailed Meerkat
Slender-tailed meerkats live in territorial groups called mobs, which can consist of up to three family groups and up to 30 individuals. Each family group is made up of a breeding pair and their offspring. Group life is an advantage for meerkats - one member will act as a lookout and sound an alarm by giving a distinct bark, and other members will respond appropriately. Mobs will also cooperate to forage for food throughout the day.
Slender-tailed meerkats can be grey, tan or brown in colour, with colour varying based on geographic location. Lengths range from 17 to 24 inches, including the tail. Their tail is thin and has a characteristic black tip. The meerkats predators include birds of prey such as eagles and hawks, terrestrial carnivores, and snakes.
Did you know?
Pups are taught to fight and eat scorpions!