Meerkats

Suricata suricatta (Meerkat)
Status: Least Concern ver 3.1
Pop. trend: stable

Meerkats are small mammals from Africa who are the most closely related to the Mongoose family. They form groups in order to survive because they are very susceptible to larger predators, which include birds of prey, Jackals, Snakes and other Carnivores. Each member of the group takes a turn at guard duty, perching on high vantage points, scanning the area for any sign of predators.

They have hundreds of different alarm calls for different threats and upon hearing them the Meerkats will dive for the nearest cover, constantly peeping for the all clear. Sometimes, if the predator is a small carnivore on the ground, the group will advance with fur raised with an agitated bouncing gait and loud rasping cries, snapping and spitting. Predators harassed in this manner will usually give up and move on, leaving the Meerkats to their ever important foraging.