Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Simples – the beautiful meerkat otherwise known as a suricate

This is an adorable, sweet, lovable mammal that comes from Africa. They are disarming, endearing and engaged with their surroundings. Their lifespan is usually six to seven years with a trade-off in captivity of between ten to fourteen years. Their group which is given the name clan or mob consists of as many as twenty although very occasionally it will sometimes grow to numbers nearing fifty. The meerkat belongs to the mongoose family and survives mainly on a diet of insects. They will as their family genus (mongoose) suggests, also take the occasional snake or lizard to eat and they love eggs. They have litters up to four times a year and the litters range from one to five pups. Although, as in other animals that survive in groups there are a stronger male and female known as the ‘alphas’ who are usually the only breeding pair, most of the remaining females produce milk and will help to feed the youngsters of the clan to assure its success.

The meerkat will sometimes actually share a burrow with other animals. There is a primal guard at the entrance of the burrow usually referred to a sentry, who constantly checks for the safety of the rest of the unit and is ever ready to give a warning call.

 

DSC_0595

DSC_0593

DSC_0585

DSC_0588

DSC_0590

This little meerkat is from Durrell Wildlife Park (Jersey Zoo), Les Augrès Manor, The Channel Islands

6 comments:

Sharkbytes said...

Pretty cute. I did not know that animals provided wet nurses that way.

DorothyL Lafrinere said...

What a sweet little creature. These little animals always look so alert and curious. I wonder if they are as curious as the Raccoon Family?

Polly Dot said...

I think perhaps, in many ways, we under-estimate animals. Perhaps we should look for the similarities to ourselves. Orangutans are quite similar to humans. They nurse their young until the young reach about six years of age then the young orangutan will stay with the mother until they are well into their teens. The mother orangutan therefore only has about three or four children in her lifetime. There is also now a belief that part of the human foot which was always thought to be no longer existent (allowing grasping and thus travelling by swinging on branches) is still present in many humans. I think we sometimes forget that we too originate from a long line of animals and thus I suppose we should regard ourselves as no different to any other creature on our planet. There aren't many animals that can reason, which was supposedly the one difference between man and animal - but then sometimes it can be a difficult ability to find in some people! Lol!

foongpc said...

The meerkats are very cute! I remember seeing them at Singapore Zoo! :)

Michelle said...

Oh my, they are so cute. Your photos are incredible. Love the little guy whose standing gaurd!

Mariuca said...

I wanna say it's cute but it looks like it will bite me if I come too close he he! Have a good one Polly! :)