There are few animals on Earth who work as well together as meerkats. These squirrel-size members of the mongoose family live in groups of different sizes, from as little as three to as big as 50 members. everyone in the mob participates in gathering food, keeping a look out for predators and taking care of the babies.
Meerkats live in the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa. These extremely social animals live together in burrows, Living underground keeps mob members safe from predators and out of the harsh African heat. These burrows can be 5 metres long and contain multiple entrances, tunnels, and rooms. A group will use up to five separate burrows at a time.
Meerkats only go outside during the daytime. Each morning, as the sun comes up, the mob emerges and begins looking for food. They use their keen sense of smell to locate their favourite foods, which include beetles, caterpillars, spiders and scorpions. They’ll also eat small reptiles, birds, eggs, fruit and plants. Back at the burrow, several babysitters stay behind to watch over newborn pups.
While the rest of the mob forages for food, one of the meerkats (or sometimes more), called a sentry, will find a high point, like a termite mound, and perch on its back legs. From here it scans the sky and desert for predators such as eagles, hawks and jackals. A sentry who senses danger will let out a high-pitched squeal, sending the mob scrambling for cover