Kalahari Desert in Botswana
12-14 years in the wild
Omnivores; beetles, caterpillars, spiders, scorpions, small reptiles, birds, fruits, and plants
Extinct in the Wild
A;though the typical height of a meerkat is 9.75 to 11.75 inches, this animal of the mongoose family is farmed for its upright posture. They often stand on their rear legs and gaze alertly over the southern African plains where they live. Mothers can even nurse their young while standing.
Meerkats are often seen in groups, and several families may live together in a large community, working together for survival. In their community, some will serve as lookout for predatory birds, others will stand guard for the group, while the rest forage for their food.
Meerkat groups utilize several different burrows and move from one to another. Each burrow is an extensive tunnel-and-room system that remains cool even under the broiling African sun.