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Ten fun facts about Meerkats

Image of Meerkats

1. Meerkats have amazing long-range vision

Meerkats are fascinating creatures, living up to an impressive 10 to 14 years or more. Despite their longevity, they have poor vision at short range, but their long range eyesight is remarkable. This allows them to spot predators from far away, giving them time to sound the alarm and take cover.

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2. Meerkats Display Remarkable Altruism

Meerkats are highly social animals, living in colonies of up to 25 individuals. They demonstrate remarkable altruistic behavior, with one meerkat taking on the role of sentry while the others forage for food. This sentry stands guard, alerting the others of any potential danger, allowing the colony to feed and survive in safety.

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3. How Meerkats Survive in Large Colonies

When meerkats live in large colonies, they are faced with the challenge of ensuring that there is enough food for everyone. To combat this, they will often disperse and form smaller groups, allowing them to spread out and find more food sources. This behavior is beneficial for the meerkats, as it ensures that all members of the colony have access to the resources they need to survive.

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4. Meerkats immune to snake and scorpion poison

Meerkats are fascinating creatures that live in a variety of habitats, including near stony rivers and banks of rivers, deserts, and on hard ground. They are highly social animals and often share their burrows with yellow mongooses, ground squirrels, and even snakes. Amazingly, meerkats have developed an immunity to the poison of snakes and scorpions, allowing them to coexist with these potentially dangerous creatures.

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5. Meerkats exhibit complex social behaviors

Meerkats are fascinating creatures, exhibiting a range of complex social behaviors. In order to ensure the success of their own offspring, meerkats will sometimes kill their subordinates. Additionally, they are known to engage in wrestling matches and other social activities, such as grooming and playing. These behaviors demonstrate the highly social nature of meerkats and their ability to form strong bonds with one another.

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6. Meerkats are remarkable diggers

Meerkats are remarkable diggers, capable of excavating dirt that is almost their own body weight. They have evolved special adaptations to help them in their digging, such as the ability to look directly into the sun and signal with their tails, which also help them to maintain balance. Additionally, they can open and close their ears to keep sand out when burrowing, and blink frequently to remove dirt from their eyes.

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7. The Omnivorous Creatures

Meerkats are omnivorous creatures, feasting on a variety of creepy crawlies such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, and lizards, as well as plant eggs and other small invertebrates. These animals have adapted to their environment, using their sharp claws and teeth to hunt and scavenge for food. They are also known to eat fruits, roots, and other vegetation, making them a truly versatile species.

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8. Meerkats use their hind legs to scan the horizon for danger

Meerkats are fascinating creatures that have adapted to their environment in a unique way. Standing on their hind legs, they survey their territory for potential predators and food sources. This behavior is known as "sentinel duty" and is a key part of their survival strategy. Meerkats are able to stand on their hind legs for extended periods of time, allowing them to scan the horizon for danger. They also use their heightened vantage point to spot potential food sources, such as insects, lizards, and small rodents. This remarkable adaptation has enabled meerkats to thrive in their environment.

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9. Male meerkats can weigh up to 731 grams

Male meerkats can weigh up to 731 grams, while female meerkats typically weigh 720 grams - a difference of 11 grams. Meerkats are small mammals, typically standing between 25 and 35 cm tall and weighing between 400 and 600 grams. The males are slightly larger than the females, with the average male meerkat weighing around 731 grams and the average female meerkat weighing around 720 grams.

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10. 37 mph meerkats outrun predators

Meerkats are incredibly fast animals, capable of reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour when running. This impressive speed allows them to quickly escape predators, as well as to hunt for food. Meerkats are also known for their agility, which helps them to quickly change direction when running. This combination of speed and agility makes them a formidable opponent in the wild.

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Short about Meerkats
Are found in the semi-arid plains of Botswana and in parts of the Kalahari Desert

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