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Meerkat

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Meerkat

A meerkat

Meerkats(scientific name Suricata suricatta) are the main characters in The Lion King 1½. One features as a supporting character in the first and second films of The Lion King, a protagonist in The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, and a character in The Lion Guard.

Appearance

Like all mongooses, meerkats are agile hunters; however, they are noticeably different from most of their relatives. Unlike the typical mongoose, of which there are around thirty-five different types, meerkats live and work in communities of up to forty members and depend on each another for survival.

An alternate name for the meerkat (Suricata suricatta) is suricate. They are part of the mongoose family. A group of meerkats is called a "mob," "gang," or "clan." A meerkat colony often contains about twenty members, but some super-families have been recorded to have over fifty members. They live in large underground networks with multiple entrances, which they leave only during the day.

Information

In the Real World

Meerkats are small, highly intelligent South African animals, and members of the mongoose family. There is one dominant male and one dominant female in each colony (which are usually a breeding pair), both of which are extremely territorial and won't tolerate competition from foreign meerkats or domestic ones. Meerkats forage in a group with one "sentry" on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. Sentry duty usually lasts an hour long. The meerkat standing guard makes peeping sounds when all is well. If the meerkat spots danger, it barks loudly or whistles. It is also the first to reappear from the burrow and search for predators after the danger is passed. It constantly barks to keep the others underground if it thinks there's still danger. If there is no threat, the sentry stops signaling and the others feel safe to emerge. Members of the same colony often groom each other in order to strengthen social bonds. The alpha pair often scent-mark lesser meerkats of the group to express their authority, and in return, the meerkats groom their alphas. This behavior is also practiced when group members are reunited after a short period apart. Most meerkats in a group are siblings or offspring of the alpha pair.

Meerkats commonly feed on insects, but will occasionally feed on eggs, snakes, plants, and spiders. They have no excess body fat, so hunting for food is a daily need. A meerkat group may die out because of predator attack, its alpha pair being unable to breed, starvation, or disease. Meerkats have an average life span of twelve to fourteen years.

In The Lion King Universe

In The Lion King 1½, meerkats are shown to be self-loathing animals, but they still manage to work together in their clans. Timon is the most important meerkat in The Lion King, helping to raise young Simba along with Pumbaa.


Fanon Meerkats on the Wiki

All fanon meerkats on the Wiki can be found here.

Fanon Stories Including Meerkats

A list of fanfictions in which meerkats appear that are on this wiki. If your fanfiction includes meerkats, add it to this list.

Gallery


Trivia

  • The meerkats in The Lion King universe are anthropomorphic,
    Fewcmeerkats

    Meerkats, at the FEWC

    as they walk on two legs when meerkats can only stand on their hind legs, and crawl on four.
  • A real meerkat from the Fellow Earthlings Wildlife Center was the model for Timon.
  • Meerkat groups in The Lion King 1½ have no leaders, and yet still manage to function normally. This is incredibly unrealistic.
  • Meerkats in The Lion King 1½ swim, and this is also unrealistic, because it has been shown that meerkats do not like to be in water.
  • Meerkats in The Lion King have no whiskers, while real meerkats do.
  • The tails of the meerkats in The Lion King stay rigid, while a real meerkat's tail is very flexible.
  • The meerkats in The Lion King have ears that are nothing like those of real meerkats, and, according to Pam Wallberg (who runs FEWC) this is because the animators said "This is Disney, we're about ears."

References

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