Science, Tech, Math › Animals & Nature Meerkat Pictures Share Flipboard Email Print Animals & Nature Mammals Amphibians Birds Habitat Profiles Reptiles Wildlife Conservation Insects Marine Life Forestry Dinosaurs Evolution View More By Laura Klappenbach Ecology Expert M.S., Applied Ecology, Indiana University Bloomington B.S., Biology and Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Laura Klappenbach, M.S., is a science writer specializing in ecology, biology, and wildlife. our editorial process Laura Klappenbach Updated November 04, 2019 Meerkats are highly social mammals that form packs of between 10 and 30 individuals consisting of several breeding pairs. The individuals in a meerkat pack forage together during daylight hours. While some members of the pack feed, one or more members of the pack stand sentry. Meerkats are highly social mammals that form packs of between 10 and 30 individuals consisting of several breeding pairs. 01 of 09 Meerkats On the Lookout Photo © Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images. The individuals in a meerkat pack forage together during daylight hours. While some members of the pack feed, one or more members of the pack stand sentry. 02 of 09 Meerkat Pair Photo © Fotobymatt / iStockphoto. Meerkats prefer habitat with short or sparse woody vegetation, lands often grazed by herds of ungulates. 03 of 09 Meerkat Portrait Photo © Mdmilliman / iStockphoto. Meerkats are skilled diggers and construct extensive burrows in hard, compacted soil. They often dig multiple burrows throughout their territory. Sometimes they share their underground tunnels with ground squirrels. 04 of 09 Meerkat Pack Photo © EcoPic / iStockphoto. Meerkats feed on a diet that consists of insects, spiders, scorpions, eggs and small vertebrates. 05 of 09 Meerkat Portrait Photo © Martin Harvey / Getty Images. Young meerkats mature and gain independence by about 10 weeks of age. They reach their adult size after about six months. 06 of 09 Meerkat Trio Photo © Grenyut / iStockphoto. Meerkats prop themselves up on their hind legs and scan the horizon looking for signs of danger. If a predator pops into view, the sentry meerkat lets out a warning bark. The other meerkats immediately run for cover within the many burrows they have throughout their territory. 07 of 09 Meerkat at Attention Photo © Rickt / iStockphoto. Meerkats use their belly to help regulate their body temperature. When hot, they spread themselves on cool damp ground, belly side down to dissipate body heat. When cold, they lie on their back in the sunshine. 08 of 09 Watchful Meerkat Photo © Cre8tive Images / Shutterstock. Meerkats have a long snout and a round face. The tail of a meerkat is covered in a thin layer of fur and is not as long as their body. 09 of 09 Meerkat Portrait Photo © Ecliptic Blue / Shutterstock. Meerkats have black fur around their eyes and ears. They have light reddish-brown fur on their back with about eight darker stripes of fur on their rump. The fur on their belly is a lighter color than the fur on their back.