Meerkat

Meerkat

Míorchat

  • Scientific name: Suricata suricatta
  • IUCN status: Listed
  • Habitat: Southern Africa – dry, open plains and scrubland
  • Diet: Mainly insectivore – but also lizards, snakes, scorpion, spiders, plants, eggs, small mammals, millipedes, centipedes, birds, roots

Meerkats are a kind of mongoose. They get their name from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘lake cat’ as they often live near a source of water. A
colony of meerkats lives in a network of burrows with many entrances and each member of the group takes on a specifi c task – from baby-sitting
and teaching youngsters how to survive, to foraging. When not on duty, they sunbathe or sleep in the shade. One meerkat can often be seen standing very alert on his rear legs on the lookout for predators. This is called ‘sentry duty’. Dublin Zoo’s Meerkat Restaurant with its huge viewing window offers the perfect opportunity to observe a meerkat family.
Meerkats are a kind of mongoose. They get their name from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘lake cat’ as they often live near a source of water. Acolony of meerkats lives in a network of burrows with many entrances and each member of the group takes on a specifi c task – from baby-sittingand teaching youngsters how to survive, to foraging. When not on duty, they sunbathe or sleep in the shade. One meerkat can often be seen standing very alert on his rear legs on the lookout for predators. This is called ‘sentry duty’. Dublin Zoo’s Meerkat Restaurant with its huge viewing window offers the perfect opportunity to observe a meerkat family.

Keeper’s Secret

Meerkats have a high immunity to snake venom and scorpion stings. They usually bite off the sting before eating the body of a scorpion.

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