Meerkats live across the savannahs of Angola, Namibia, South
Africa and Botswana and are officially known as Suricata suricatta.
Weighing around 600-975g they are on average 25-35cm long with a
tail measuring 17-25cm long.
The word meerkat
comes from the South African Dutch word for 'lake cat' as most meerkats can be
found around lakes and other sources of water. They live for between 12-14yrs
and live in groups of around fifty.
They feed on
insects as well as small mammals, centipedes and other food stuffs such as eggs,
snakes, spiders, lizards and even scorpions, not least because they are immune
to scorpion venom.