The animal that I selected to observe is the meerkat. This research paper will explain the behavior patterns and social structures of the meerkat. After touring the entire zoo, I selected the meerkats because they were more active than any other species and their location was closer to view than any other animal. The weather was cloudy and warm and it was about 1500 hours when I arrived at the site to observe them.
Meerkats have long bodies and faces. They have small round ears, long tails, and short legs. Their heads have an indentation between their foreheads and their muzzles. Their ears sit low on each side of their head. These ears are able to close when they dig in the sand. Meerkats normally weigh about 1.6 pounds for a male and 1.5 pounds for a female. They extend between 25 to 35 centimeters and have a tail length of about 17 to 25 centimeters. The tail is used for balancing when they stand upright. Their eyes have black rings around them that help deflect the glare of the sun. Their peripheral vision is excellent. When digging their underground burrows they utilize their curved claws (Fuehrer, T. 2003). This was demonstrated upon my arrival. I noticed one of the four meerkats rapidly digging a tunnel or perhaps foraging.
There were a total of four meerkats. One was large in size, one medium, and two small. The meerkat community is also known as being a mob or a gang. They can possible have up to 40 members. There will always be a dominate alpha male who has breeding rights the alpha female. Then there is an alpha female who is the dominate female of the group. This is the only female who is to breed within the group. Their coats were light tan with gray, tan, and brown sprinkled in with a metallic tint.... [continues]
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