Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, Botswana, Africa

A meerkat is digging for food and leaving a dusty cloud around its body. Indeed ferociously attacking the ground in search of the next meal. Its comrade up ahead with the same goal in mind.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 1 October, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark III and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/1250s
  • ISO: 1000
  • Focal Length: 200mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 3140 by 2093 pixels (WxH).

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An extraordinary meerkat is digging for food and leaving a dusty cloud around its body. Indeed ferociously attacking the ground in search of the next meal. Its comrade up ahead with the same goal in mind. The patchy black pattern of their fur is visible in the photograph. The white sand path starting from the right of the photograph, leading to the upper left corner, guides our eyes around the composition.

Research has shown that helper meerkats will teach the younger pups how to scavenge for food and handle difficult situations. The helper meerkats, for example, teach the young cubs to be wary of snakes and scorpions. Even though they are immune to scorpion poison, their pincers will give them a little painful nip. Meerkats dig for food to find bugs and other creepy crawlies. They use their tail to provide stability to stand on their hind legs for lengthy periods without falling over. Besides, they also use their tails to show body language. If a rival mob of meerkats arrives, they will put their tails straight in the air and start the famous “war dance.”

Meerkats, Suricata suricatta, are in category least concern in the IUCN red list.

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