• A meerkat survives by staying with its family and fulfilling its role as a group member. Each day one meerkat acts as a babysitter while another acts as sentry. Groups members also fulfill roles as teachers, showing the pups how to hunt and capture prey. Another important group tactic is working as a unified team against dangers. Following the lead of the matriarch, meerkats fight rival mobs and stand up to dangerous predators.

    • For centuries, meerkats have been praised and revered for their impressive ability to fight off dangerous snakes. They do this by "teaming up" on the snake.
    • When the desert air cools, meerkats pile into a large group to keep warm.
    • The meerkat family, or mob, needs to remain large and unified. Since the pups represent the future strength of the group, a family member will fight to the death to protect them.
    • When creating burrows and boltholes, a meerkat quickly digs into the sand and uses its hind legs to push the sand out. As the meerkat digs deeper, other meerkats come and help, forming a team. The team passes the loose soil upward, toward the opening. There, another meerkat builds a mound where the sentry can stand and keep watch for predators.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bolthole Noun

    small, protected hole in the ground, where an animal can flee when pursued or frightened.

    burrow Noun

    small hole or tunnel used for shelter.

    family Noun

    group of organisms that come from the same ancestors and share similar characteristics. Family is also a classification in chemistry and math.

    Encyclopedic Entry: family
    matriarch Noun

    female leader of a family.

    predator Noun

    animal that hunts other animals for food.

    prey Noun

    animal that is hunted and eaten by other animals.

    sentry Noun

    soldier who stands guard to protect something valuable.

    tactic Noun

    procedure or method for accomplishing a goal.

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