Meerkats desktop wallpapers

Meerkat Photo

Meerkats are part of the mongoose family and are probably one of the cutest animals around. They live in large family groups which consist of about 20 - 30 meerkats at a time. The collective name for a group of meerkats is “mob”, “gang” or “clan”.

Within the group each adult meerkat has a job to perform - babysitter, teacher, hunter or the all important sentry. The sentry meerkat is always on the lookout for predators and sits up on its hind legs to scour the surrounding areas looking and listening for signs of a potential threat. The sentries comedic, but all important, behaviour is probably one of the reasons why meerkats have become so popular.

The other reason could be the BBC TV show Meerkat Manor, which captured the complexities of meerkat life in the harsh Kalahari desert for a clan of meerkats called The Whiskers. This proved to be a hugely popular and educational TV programme and has so far spanned three series.

Going underground

Meerkats live in large underground networks with multiple entrances. During the day they hunt for small animals such as lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, small mammals, millipedes and centipedes. Unlike humans, meerkats are immune to scorpion venom.

Whilst hunting, one of the meerkats will take on the role of sentry (usually for an hour at a time) while the others forage for food. If danger is spotted the sentry will alert the group by sounding a warning sound.

This behaviour is also adopted around the burrow - one or more meerkats will be on sentry duty whilst the rest of the group goes about its business. If danger is spotted the clan can take shelter underground until the threat has passed. The meerkat which spots a predator and sounds the warning bark is the first to reappear from the burrow to see if the danger has passed. The sentry meerkat will continue to bark until it is sure there is no threat. Once it becomes silent the rest of the gang know it is safe to come out of the burrow.

It is thought meerkat warning sounds may vary depending upon the type of threat being faced by the group.

The younger members of the group will often depend upon the babysitting duties of the older females. If a warning sound is heard the babysitters will take the youngsters underground for protection. If the danger follows, the babysitter is prepared to defend the young to the point of putting itself in danger. If it is not possible to gain access to the burrow the babysitter will lie on top of the younger meerkats to protect them.

Meerkat desktop wallpapers

We have two meerkat desktop wallpapers at the moment, the pictures were taken at Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool.

Meerkat desktop wallpaper

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