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Meerkats (Suricata suricata) is the smallest representative of the family of mongoose. The total length of their body covered with grayish-brown fur, only 50-60 cm, half of which occur in a strong tail. female representatives of several large males, but they rarely reach a weight of 1 kilogram. Front feet meerkats developed much stronger than that of other members of the family. They are used for food production, and for digging burrows where animals live. Development of the third eyelid protects the eyes of the animal from sand and long whiskers to help navigate the dark corridors of the house.
The area of distribution meerkats – the desert regions of South Africa. The animals are afraid of thickets and forests, preferring to settle either on open sandy areas or in mountainous regions. Depending on this, they either dig themselves under the ground entire towns or equip housing in natural caves.
Typically, meerkats (pictured) live in families, numbering on average 30 animals. At the head of each household is the dominant female. She directs literally everyone, and it alone has the right to reproduce. If any other female pups will, it can be expelled from the clan, which is equivalent to death. Family surikatovSredi male population in families meerkats skirmishes that resulted in the dominant male is determined, and only he has the ability to mate with the dominant female.
The offspring of animals can bring up to four times a year, but more often it occurs during the rainy season, which lasts from October to March. Pregnancy lasts 70-75 days, after which the light appear two to five pups (little meerkat – all the beauty, see for yourself in the video below) .Detenyshi surikataKazhdaya family group has its smell, according to which animals recognize each other. On the territory of the clan, which may extend up to three kilometers, there are several holes, which are used interchangeably and are marked by special glands. Meerkats differ strong cohesion, they literally do everything together. This applies to food, rest, taking care of pups and protection territorii.Suricata suricataKak and other members of the family of mongooses, meerkats are predators. They mainly eat insects and invertebrates, but at the same time, never miss an opportunity to eat bird eggs, and rodents. Moreover, animals eating scorpions with their venom glands and snakes. This unique ability has long been seen by man – a small predator domesticated and kept on the premises, in order to be protected from the poisonous creatures.
Thanks to intensive metabolism, eat a lot of meerkats, but the water is practically not drink, they have enough liquid contained in the feed. During the rainy season, lack of food from animals is not, in consequence of which there is no conflict between the clans. During the winter period, such clashes are not uncommon and can be very violent.
Despite the fact that meerkats – predators, they often fall prey to predatory birds, so in nature rarely live up to 7-8 years. In captivity, they live much longer.