What Do Meerkats Eat?

Exploring the Unique Diet of Meerkats

Table of Contents

Meerkat_(Suricata_suricatta)_Tswalu
Clan of Meerkats. Credit: Wikimedia/Tswalu

Meerkats. Have you ever wondered what these cute and curious animals eat to keep up with their busy lives? In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of meerkat diets and look at the wide range of foods they like to eat. Find out what these cute little animals eat, from tasty bugs to delicious fruits.


Meerkats are small mammals that live in the arid parts of southern Africa. The close-knit family groups of these social animals are called mobs or clans. As omnivores, meerkats eat both plant-based and animal-based foods in their varied diet. They are opportunistic foragers, which means they will eat anything that is easy to find in their environment.

Insects

One of the main things that meerkats eat is insects. They have a good eye for finding and catching these small animals. Meerkats are good hunters, and they eat a wide range of insects, such as beetles, termites, spiders, and even scorpions. They pounce on their prey with sharp claws and quick reactions, enjoying every crunchy bite.

Small Vertebrates

Meerkat_in_Namibia
Meerkat eating a frog. Credit: Wikimedia/Schnobby

Meerkats also like to eat small vertebrates. When the chance comes up, they have been known to grab lizards, frogs, snakes, small birds, and rodents. Meerkats eat meat quickly because they have sharp teeth and can move quickly. They might work as a team, taking turns hunting and catching these quick animals.

Fruits and Seeds

Even though they usually eat meat, meerkats also like to eat plants every once in a while. They eat a wide range of fruits, seeds, and sometimes even tubers and roots. They get important vitamins and water from fruits like melons and berries, which helps them stay hydrated during the dry seasons. Meerkats are known to dig for tubers and roots that are hidden under the ground. They enjoy the tasty food that they find there.


Meerkats are opportunistic eaters, which means that they change what they eat based on the seasons and the food that is available. They are always looking for new places to get food. This adaptability allows them to survive in their harsh desert environment where food can sometimes be scarce. Researchers have observed meerkats actively feeding on plant leaves, and fungi, and even occasionally consuming the eggs or nestlings of birds.

Meerkat Feeding Habits

When it’s time to eat, meerkats act like social animals. They get together in groups and take turns watching for danger while the others eat. This way of eating together helps keep the group safe because they depend on each other to stay alert to any possible dangers.


Meerkats are remarkable creatures with diverse and adaptable diets. They eat a wide range of things, from fruits and seeds to insects and small vertebrates. This lets them live well in their dry environment and make the most of the resources they have. The next time you see one of these cute animals, think about how many different kinds of food they eat. Meerkats are true food explorers of the animal kingdom!

Glossary

Omnivores: Animals that eat both plants and other animals.


Vertebrates: Animals that have a backbone or spinal column.


Tubers: Thickened underground plant stems that store nutrients, such as potatoes.


Adaptability: The ability of an organism to adjust to changes in its environment.


Nestlings: Baby birds that are still in the nest and rely on their parents for care.

Flesch Grade Level: 7.2


Flesch Reading Ease
: 70.9

Contributors

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