What kind of animal is a meerkat? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat Can be seen in zoos and Africa


What kind of animals are the meerkats that can be seen at animal parks? We will introduce and explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. Meerkats, known as desert gangsters, live in groups, and their watchful behavior is very impressive. By the way, you might think it’s a cat based on its name, but be careful as it’s actually a completely different animal.

What is a meerkat? About basic status

Meerkat is a carnivorous mammal classified in the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Mongoose, genus Suricata. The scientific name is Suricata suricatta. Also known as suricata or meerkat. The body length is 25 – 31cm, the tail length is 17 – 25cm, and the weight is 600 – 900g, so it can be easily lifted by a human with one hand. In the wild, males are larger than females.

scientific name(学名)Suricata suricatta
classification(分類)Mammalia、 Carnivora、 Herpestidae、Suricata
Length(体長)25 – 31cm
Weight(体重)600 – 900g

About classification

Meerkats are members of the genus Suricata, but the following subspecies exist:

Suricata suricatta suricatta 

Meerkats living near the Republic of South Africa fall into this category.

Suricata suricatta iona

Meerkats also live in Angola, and these populations fall into this category.

Suricata suricatta marjoriae

Meerkats also live in Namibia, and these populations fall into this category.

About habitat

Meerkats are distributed in South Africa, Angola, and Namibia.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

Meerkats are members of the mongoose family. Although it has “Kat” in its name, it has nothing to do with cats. In Dutch it is called the lake cat. The body color is beige or yellowish brown, with black around the eyes and ears, and a striped pattern on the back. They build nests and live in groups in rough areas with lots of stones and rocks, or in savannahs, and are diurnal. They have a habit of standing upright facing the sun with their tails as support to warm their bodies.

What is your personality like?

Meerkats live in pairs or families, and are very social animals as multiple families live together in groups. However, meerkats also engage in wars with other meerkat groups, competing for territory. They are timid and wary animals, and it takes a long time to get used to them.

What is the ecology like?

Meerkats subsist on insects, spiders, scorpions, myriapods, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. The breeding pattern is viviparous, with breeding occurring from October to April, and the gestation period is 11 weeks. Females can give birth to 2-5 cubs at a time. Breastfeeding lasts for 4 to 6 weeks and becomes independent at 10 weeks. The lifespan is said to be about 12 to 14 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

Meerkat’s natural enemies include black-backed jackals, ratels, and birds of prey, and large mammals and birds are quite troublesome and end up being preyed upon. When a natural enemy approaches, they loudly alert their friends and flee all at once into their burrows.

Are meerkats an endangered species?

Meerkats are not an endangered species. It is classified as a low concern, and although it is stable, there is a possibility that it will be killed to prevent rabies, and its population is decreasing. As a result, they live in several protected areas such as the Kalahari Border Park and Lake Makgadikgadi. Meerkat projects have already been launched in Africa.

Can you keep meerkats?

Some people keep meerkats as pets. However, they are hard to get used to, so breeding them is for advanced users. There are events held in Japan, and visitors are invited to interact with small animals within the park. We recommend that you take a look at the recruitment and then take a look inside the facility. Please check the access map etc.

What does the food look like?

In addition to zoo food (horse meat, bananas, apples, etc.), zoos feed snakes, crickets, and worms. Therefore, it is common to prepare these if you want to breed them. I’m an omnivorous child, so I can eat anything.

Can’t stay in the cage for a long time

Meerkats are very active animals. Therefore, they cannot live forever in a cage. They have a wide home range and can travel long distances in a day while searching for prey. Free range is the norm. I also don’t remember using the toilet.

Multiple dogs are the basics.

Meerkats normally live together in groups, so they can become stressed if they don’t have friends. Sufficient consideration is required. They may dig into carpets, flooring, and furniture to relieve stress. They have a habit of keeping watch and digging tunnels underground.

can be aggressive

Meerkats are hard to get attached to. It takes some time to get used to it. Be careful as they may bite you with their sharp teeth if they are not used to it.


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