Suricata suricatta

Meerkats live in southwestern Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. They feed on caterpillars of moths and butterflies, termites, crickets, and other invertebrates like spiders and scorpions. They will also feed on small lizards and amphibians, small eggs and some plants. Females are significantly larger than males. They dig elaborate tunnel systems with many entrances. When threatened they dig to make clouds of dust to confuse or distract their predators. They work together in a community -- each member has a specific duty that benefits the colony. Meerkats sometimes can be found as pets in South African homes.

The pictures on this page were taken in Louisville zoo, in May 2001.

Subfamily Herpestinae
Family Viverridae
Superfamily Feloidea
Order Carnivora
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth