Due to their sociability, meerkats live in large colonies of up to 30 individuals; however, there is usually a single breeding pair. An important role that rotates among colony members is that of sentinel or guard duty. While the family is out foraging, one or more meerkats will take on the duty to keep an eye out for predators. If danger is spotted, the sentinel will alarm the group with a distinctive bark so that the others can hide in their burrows.
Another role which meerkats play is that of babysitter. In order for the breeding female to forage for food, young meerkats will look after the newest litter of pups. By doing so, the mother enhances her chances of staying well fed and healthy to continue to care for her offspring.
DIETPrimarily insects, but will also eat reptiles, birds, eggs and small rodents.
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