Distribution and Habitat
The meerkat can be found in Southern Africa, south of the Orange River, including Angola, Namibia, South Africa and southern Botswana.
Found exclusively on the semi-arid plains, where there is intense heat and very little rain, of South Africa, the meerkat avoids woodland and dense vegetation and prefers to live among the scrub.
Meerkats are related to the mongoose. They are approximately 12 inches in length from their head to the tip of their tail. They may weigh up to two pounds. Their large canine teeth and long, specialized claws on their front paws aid in digging and climbing. They possess a pointed snout and small black eyes. Their eyes are surrounded by patches of black fur which function as built-in sunglasses.
Meerkats have developed immunity to scorpion stings that would otherwise paralyze a grown man or kill a small child.
The meerkat is a very social animal forming groups with other individuals sharing duties, food and child- rearing responsibilities.
Due to their specialized physical characteristics, a meerkat can move its entire weight in sand in a matter of seconds!