Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, Virtual Learning

Meerkat Facts- The Small and Mysterious Animal

Small and mysterious meerkats

Environment

  • Meerkats are specially adapted to living in the harsh desert environment.
  • Meerkats can live in pretty much any dessert. However, Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Namib Desert in Namibia and south-western Angola and in South Africa.
  • Their social cooperation within a large group and their extensively burrowed tunnels helps them to survive in arid African deserts.
  • Meerkats will also share their burrows with beetles.
  • Despite living in the desert unbelievably meerkats do not need extra water in their diets. They get all the moisture they need from the insects and grubs they eat.

Diets

  • Meerkats are insectivores, which means most of their diet is made up of insects.
  • However, they are also known to eat small mammals, snakes and snake eggs, birds and bird eggs, grubs (an insect’s wormlike larva) and even poisonous scorpions.
  • Meetkats also enjoy eating fruits and vegetables.

Body Structure

  • Very small catlike carnivores, their faces often have a curious look, seemingly taking in everything in their surroundings.
  • They have long bodies and short flat ears and are able to stand on their hind legs.
  • The color of their coat can be gold, silver, brown or orange, with dark patches around the eyes.
  • They can dig their own body weight of dirt within a few seconds and their high endurance enables them to build elaborate tunnels.
  • Meerats can live up to eight years in the wild.
  • Meerkats are immune to venom and can handle a bite from a poisonous snake.

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