Meerkats are members of the mongoose family who live primarily in the Kalahari desert. They are highly social animals that function in extended family groups, called mobs.
The tiny meerkats must stay alert to survive in the same environment with fierce (and large) creatures like cheetahs, leopards, lions, eagles, jackels, foxes and cobras, to name a few. Their coloring closely matches the reddish sands of the desert to help them hide.
Meerkats are best known for their active social behavior. Meerkats spend most of their lives with the same group of companions. They protect each other, groom each other and keep each other warm during the cool desert nights.
Meerkats are carnivores. The eat beetle larvae and scorpions. They seem to be immune to scorpion venom. They sometimes forage on geckos and snakes, too.
Usually from a high point, the leader of the pack (called a sentry) guards the group to protect them from predators. They stand tall - using their tail like a kickstand - and make various sounds to alert the group of danger.
Meerkats are constantly digging to create holes or burrows to hide in for shelter and to protect themselves against predators.