Clever Tricks & a unique community spirit!

Freda Savahl
3 min readDec 21, 2021

That is the Meerkat survival tactic!

Meerkats are highly social in the wild. They display strengths by living in tight-knit groups. They live in colonies of about 40 individuals and rely on each other for food, defense, and rearing their young.

Living on the African plains, these mammals have adapted perfectly to their harsh environment. They escape extreme temperatures & predators by living in underground burrows. A colony of meerkats consists of three families living together communally.

They may be small, but their bodies are tough. So first, let us look at their biology:

Statistics:

Type: mammal.

Binomial: Suricata suricatta.

Diet: Omnivore.

Body length: 30 centimeters

Weight: 750g

Average life span in the wild: 10 years.

Eyes:

Binocular vision detects predators from as far as 0.6milies away. The black eye patches reduce glare. The nictitating membrane keeps sand out of their eyes while digging.

Ears:

They have small round ears, kept closed in sandstorms or when digging.

Fur:

The fur color varies from light tan to dark brown with unique stripes on the back.

Tail:

The long tail helps balance when standing on their hind legs.

Claws:

Four claws on each paw, 2 centimeters in length, are used to dig their burrows & to forage for insects & roots in the arid ground.

Meerkats are a type of mongoose. They hunt together, always looking up at the sky for their number one enemy; birds of prey.

Typically, the colony's alpha pair will mate. One is a sentry to warn with a shrill bark in case of danger. Others babysit, groom & feed the pups.

How are they immune to venom?

Meerkats are known to pick fights with snakes & scorpions. However, it may be true that they have a higher tolerance for venom due to a slightly…

Freda Savahl

Retired Nurse Practitioner WHC /Contract Provider Deployment Military Services. US Citizen. Immigrant from South Africa 1978.