Cool Meerkat Facts for Kids

Meerkat Facts for Kids

 

Click Here for more Animal Facts

  • Meerkats are mammals.
  • They are part of the mongoose family.
  • A mongoose is a furry animal with a long body and tail that lives in Africa and Asia.
  • Meerkats love hot and dry climates, they live is the southern tip of Africa.
  • Meerkats are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.
  • Meerkats enjoy eating a variety of things including. beetles, lizards, grubs, insects, small snakes, eggs, small births and plants.
  • They are immune to scorpion poison and snake venom.
  • Meerkats have long curvy claws and four digging paws that they use to dig to find food.
  • Meerkats can dig hundreds of holes in one morning.
  • They have a strong sense of smell and can smell food under the dirt or sand.
  • Meerkats are 11-19 inches long with bushy tan-brown striped fur. They have big eyes with black patches around them.  The patches help protects their eyes from the glare of the sun.
  • Meerkats live in underground burrows.
  • Burrows are holes or tunnels underground that an animal uses as a home.
  • Their burrows can have 15 tunnels with rooms.
  • Meerkats only come out of their burrows during the day.
  • Meerkats are very social animals and live in groups called a mob or gangs.
  • Mobs/gangs can have as little as 3 members to as many as 50 members.
  • Meerkats work, play and sleep with members of their mob/gang.
  • Each member of the mob/gang has a job.
    • Hunters- members that find food
    • Teachers- members that teach young meerkats how to find food and shows them how to eat.
    • Babysitters- Watch young meerkats.
    • Feeders- Mothers and other female members of the group take turn feeding their milk to babies.
    • Guards – Members that stand on high ground and keep a look out for predators. Predators include eagles, jackals and hawks.
  • When a predator arrives, they will sometimes stand together, show their teeth and hiss. Other times they will run and jump into a bolt hole.
  • A bolt hole is a hole that is dug to escape from danger.
  • Meerkats like to snuggle to keep warm. They also like to lay out in the sun.
  • Meerkats are very social with other members of the same mob or gang however, they are very territorial and get into fights with meerkats from different mobs/gangs.
  • Baby meerkats are called pups.
  • Pups are born with their eyes clothes and hairless.
  • Female members of the mob/gang help take care of pups.
  • Meerkats live 10 years in the wild and 13 years in captivity.
  • They are not an endangered species.