Meerkats are very social and charismatic mammals of the mongoose family that live in southern Africa. The meerkats rise to their hind legs, tracking down the danger, have an excellent sense of smell, sight and hearing. The diet of the mead is composed mainly of insects, but they can also eat small reptiles, scorpions, eggs and plants. Good sense of smell and the ability to dig holes helps these animals to find prey, even if it hides deep underground.

Adult meerkats have to train the younger generation than to eat them. Mothers can bring young living lizards, insects or scorpions to the cubs, and they have to learn how to kill them. Groups of 2-3 families of meerkats, called colonies, live side by side in burrows. Almost all free time members of the colony take care of themselves and play with each other.

Early in the morning they leave the burrows to sunbathe, and then go hunting. Each colony has its own territory of about 10 square kilometers, where they hunt at different times of the day.

Adult individuals in turn stand guard, looking for enemies, when the others get food. “Sentinels” climb to the highest point – a mountain or a stone – and monitor the situation. If all is well, the houron produces a long continuous sound, known as the “song of the sentry”. If he sees an enemy, he makes a whistle or cry, quickly warning the remaining members of the colony, and they immediately run to the nearest hole in the shelter.

Meerkats perfectly adapted to life in a hot dusty environment. Long horizontal pupils allow meerakats to see perfectly around, and the dark areas around the eyes reflect a bright light, allowing them to view objects at a great distance. Meerkats also have a special membrane that protects the eyes when they dig holes.

The meerkats have dark skin and thin fur on their bellies, which allows them to control the body temperature. They take sunbaths to warm up quickly in the mornings, and in the middle of the day they press themselves into the heat to cooler stones in the shade to cool.

Females give offspring several times a year, in one litter there may be from 2 to 5 calves. Usually the cubs are born in the rainy season when there is a lot of food. The cubs are born bald, blind and deaf. They open their eyes only after 2 weeks, a week later they start eating solid food. About a month later they are selected from the shelter.

The dominant female and male in the colony have the most cubs. Adult meerkats sit in turn with the kids. The meerkats reach a length of about 30 centimeters, the females are slightly larger than males. Weigh an average of 1 kilogram. Life expectancy is about 10 years, in zoos can live up to 13 years.

The meerkats mainly inhabit the western part of southern Africa. They live in the open dry spaces of African savannahs, covered with short grass and rare shrubs. They avoid living in deserts, forests and mountains. These mammals are fairly widespread in the south of the African continent. They live in several protected areas, where they do not have a great danger.