Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, Botswana, Africa

Two Meerkats are scouting. One adult and one baby meerkat scanning the landscape for predators.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 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/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/800s
  • ISO: 1000
  • Focal Length: 110mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 2592 by 3888 pixels (WxH).

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The two Meerkats are scouting and standing tall, showing us their slender little bodies. The sun rises with its brilliant colors covering all the African creatures, animals, and plants with its long-awaited warmth after a cold night. The nights in the desert can be chili. These Meerkats are also standing up to let the sun’s rays warm their underbellies.

The main predators of Meerkats are snakes, jackals, and birds of prey. Therefore, when they are on the lookout, they not only have to look for their predators on the ground but in the sky too. Sometimes if a predator attacks them, they will try and attack it back together. However, they will usually run away, but it just proves they are quite fierce when they need to be.

When a sentry or lookout spots a predator, it will make a loud bark or whistle in a few different ways. For instance, if they spot a dangerous threat on the ground, the sound the sentry makes will send the whole clan scattering into their burrows. However, if the sentry sees a danger in the skies, they will call. Their alarm call let the clan know to crouch low on the ground and keep their eyes on the sky.

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

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