The meerkat is a member of the mongoose family and is recognized for its long, thin body.
The meerkat was designed with the ability to close its ears. This is helpful as it burrows in the dry dirt. The fur of the meerkat acts as insulation and a cooling system to keep heat in when needed and to cool its body when needed. All meerkats in a gang work to provide for and protect the members of their gang.
CLASS: Mammalia (mammal)
ORDER: Carnivora (meat-eating)
FAMILY: Herpestidae (mongoose)
GENUS/SPECIES: Suricata suricatta
Size: Average about 20 in long (0.5 m)
Weight: Average about 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Mainly insects; but also plants and small vertebrates
Habitat: Savannas of southern Africa