jdmphotography@meerkat.com by jdmphotography

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Meerkats everyone’s favorite mammal !

The meerkat or suricate Suricata suricatta, a small mammal, is a member of the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”. A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years.

Meerkats have been the subjects of many cultural depictions, some more famous examples including the Animal Planet series Meerkat Manor and an advertising campaign by British company Compare the Market. The advertisements consist of Aleksandr, a Russian CGI meerkat lamenting over the confusion of his website, Compare the Meerkat.com, with Compare the Market.com by the general public. The advertisements have become popular, spawning a short film starring the now famous meerkat.

Meerkats become sexually mature at about one year of age and can have 1 to 5 pups in a litter, with 3 pups being the most common litter size. Wild meerkats may have up to four litters per year. Meerkats are iteroparous and can reproduce any time of the year but most births occur in the warmer seasons. The pups are allowed to leave the burrow at three weeks old. When the pups are ready to emerge from the burrow, the whole clan of meerkats will stand around the burrow to watch. Some of the adolescents might try to show off so they can have more attention than the pups.

There is no precopulatory display; the male ritually grooms the female until she submits to him and copulation begins, the male generally adopting a seated position during the act. Gestation lasts approximately 11 weeks and the young are born within the underground burrow and are altricial. The young’s ears open at about 15 days of age, and their eyes at 10–14 days. They are weaned around 49 to 63 days. They do not come above ground until at least 21 days of age and stay with babysitters near the burrow. After another week or so, they join the adults on a foraging party.

Usually, the alpha pair reserves the right to mate and normally kills any young not its own, to ensure that its offspring has the best chance of survival. The dominant couple may also evict, or kick out the mothers of the offending offspring.

New meerkat groups are often formed by evicted females pairing with roving males.

If the members of the alpha group are relatives (this tends to happen when the alpha female dies and is succeeded by a daughter), they do not mate with each other and reproduction is by group females stray-mating with roving males from other groups; in this situation, pregnant females tend to kill and eat any pups born to other females.

Digital SLR cameras are used.


  • jdmphotography
    jdmphotographyover 4 years ago


  • jdmphotography@meerkat.com " was featured in Animal Portraits

    – jdmphotography

  • BigCatPhotos
    BigCatPhotosover 4 years ago

    What a face!! Just love them!! Another top shot.

  • Thank you for your kind comments always appreciated ! …….. jon (-:

    – jdmphotography

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 4 years ago

  • Steven  Agius
    Steven Agiusover 4 years ago

    Fantastic portrait !

  • Thank you kindly for your comments Steve ! …….

    – jdmphotography

  • Alexa Pereira
    Alexa Pereiraover 4 years ago

    Super image love the expression

  • Thank you kindly for your lovely comments Alexa ! ………..

    – jdmphotography

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedleover 4 years ago

    Great capture!

  • Thanks again Rick all the best mate ! ……

    – jdmphotography

  • rkdownton
    rkdowntonover 4 years ago

    Oh how gorgeous! Love it :)

  • Thank you for your kind comments ! ………….. (-:

    – jdmphotography

  • Stormygirl
    Stormygirlover 4 years ago

    Awesome image:)

  • Thank you for your kind comments ! …….

    – jdmphotography

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 4 years ago

    Great capture of a meerekat, it reminds me of South Africa.

  • Thank you so much ! …….. Andrea’

    – jdmphotography

  • Ladymoose
    Ladymooseover 4 years ago


  • Carn’t get a lot better than a Wow’ Thank you ! ………

    – jdmphotography

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