By Any Other Name: The meerkat, also called the slender-tailed meerkat or suricate, is the only species in its genus Suricata. A small mongoose, it lives in large social colonies made up of several family units. It is often found in association with other mongoose species, as well as squirrels and various other rodents.
A Vast Repertoire: It has many chatterlike calls in its repertoire. During the night, it shelters in a multichambered burrow; in the daytime, it basks in the sun near the entrance or goes foraging for insects, small mammals, reptiles, birds and their eggs, fruit, and vegetation.
Always on Alert: It has highly developed senses of smell, vision, and hearing, and may sometimes be seen standing up on its hind legs, alert to danger. When a meerkat spots a predator, it will sound an alarm call to warn the others of the colony.