Ten Magnificent Facts about Meerkats

Meerkats have got to be one of the cutest little animals around. With their upright stance and friendly features they’re definitely one of the most popular attractions at the zoo.

But have you ever wanted to know more about these creatures? If so, read on!



1. Meerkats have a matriarchal society, the females are the leaders and are bigger than their male counterparts.

2. These cute little creatures are digging experts and they have a special membrane that protects their eyes when they are burrowing.

3. They are diurnal, meaning they rise with the sun – like humans!



4.They live in groups of up to 40, in what’s called a gang or a mob.

5. The mob all help to babysit and raise the meerkat pups.

6. Insects are the biggest part of their diet.

7. They have thin skin on their bellies to help control their temperature. They lie on their back and let the sun warm them, or lie stomach down on a cold rock to cool down.



8. They have an excellent sense of smell and can even sniff out insects under the ground.

9. While they forage for food, one meerkat is appointed as a watchman. It calls to let them know all is well, has one warning call for land predators and another warning call for flying predators.



10. Meerkats are not cats, but part of the mongoose family.

Do you fancy meeting the meerkats?

Images from Gabriel Pollard, Shaun Dunphy and John Leach via Flickr and from the Red Letter Days website.

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