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Suricata suriatta

Meerkats are a type of mongoose. They are burrowing animals with sharp claws on their feet for digging.

Meerkats are sociable animals that live in groups called ‘mobs’, of up to 30 related individuals. Within the mob, there is always a sentry on duty. This member of the mob perches at a high vantage point to watch the sky and surrounding area for predators. If they spot anything, a sharp bark is used to alert the other members to the coming danger. Meerkats can measure up to 35 centimetres (cm) and their tails can reach 25cm. They weigh up to 730 grams.

IUCN red list status

The IUCN status of the meerkat is least concern.

The IUCN status of the meerkat is least concern.

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Animal class


Conservation status

The IUCN does not consider meerkats to be facing extinction in the wild.


Grasslands and savannah


There has been no research carried out into how many meerkats are left in the wild.


Insectivore/Omnivore. Meerkats eat insects and other invertebrates but will also take eggs, small reptiles, roots, bulbs and birds.