Last week I chose Lar Gibbon for the letter L and today's suggestion is also a MaMMal.
M is for Meerkat.
Meerkat sculpture - Chester Zoo, UK
The Meerkat or Suricate, Suricata suricatta, is a small mammal belonging to the Mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa.
(Map from Wikipedia)
Meerkats are small burrowing animals, living in large underground networks with multiple entrances which they leave only during the day. They are very social, living in colonies averaging 20–30 members or, occasionally, up to 50. Animals in the same group regularly groom each other to strengthen social bonds. Most meerkats in a group are all siblings or offspring of the alpha pair. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". Meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years.
Meerkats are primarily insectivores, but also eat lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, plants, eggs, small mammals, millipedes, centipedes and, more rarely, small birds. Meerkats are immune to certain types of venom; they are immune to the very strong venom of the scorpions of the Kalahari Desert, unlike humans.
Meerkats demonstrate altruistic behavior within their colonies; one or more meerkats stand sentry while others are foraging or playing, to warn them of approaching dangers. When a predator is spotted, the meerkat performing as sentry gives a warning bark, and other members of the gang will run and hide in one of the many bolt holes they have spread across their territory. The sentry meerkat is the first to reappear from the burrow and search for predators, constantly barking to keep the others underground. If there is no threat, the sentry meerkat stops signaling and the others feel safe to emerge.
The underside of the meerkat has no markings, but the belly has a patch which is only sparsely covered with hair. The meerkat uses this area to absorb heat while standing on its rear legs, usually early in the morning after cold desert nights.
I hope you enjoyed this post about the Marvellous and Magical Meerkat. You can find out more about meerkats at
So the Meerkat is a MaMMal, a MeMber of the Mongoose family
Why not visit the link to other people's imaginative posts for the letter M by clicking on the this link?