A meerkat mob is a group of meerkats. These groups are also known as gangs, clans, teams or troops. A meerkat mob normally consists of a dominant couple and their offspring. The meerkats are very cooperative and work as a unit, every meerkat will do their part for the mob, even if they are unrelated.

A Meerkat Mob

Alpha Pair

The mob will have a dominant pair. The dominant female will normally keep all of the breeding rights to herself. She is usually the leader of the group, and has more power than the dominant male. The dominant male spends his time scent-marking, keeping a look-out, defending the territory and protecting his mate from interested males. The dominant male is usually the largest or most powerful meerkat in the group, but will submit to the dominant female if neccessary for she has the ultimate power.


Meerkat Babysitter

The dominant female will keep the breeding rights to herself and will not allow any other female become pregnant. If another female breeds, the leader will most likely evict that female. In some cases, the dominant female will kill the offspring of the other female.

When the dominant female has her children, the whole group will help out. When the group goes out to forage, the pups will be watched by selected meerkats. Their job is to stay at the burrow and watch the pups until the group returns. Mature females are able to nurse the pups in the mother's absence.

Lower-ranking Members

Subordinates of the group are mainly responsible for the welfare of the pups; they teach younger members how to hunt and sometimes generously feed them. Subordinates also babysit and perform lookout duties. Females more commonly babysit as they're able to lactate (produce milk, even if they haven't had litters of their own before), whilst males generally spend more time on sentry duty then females. When males reach sexual maturity at the age of 1 they begin visiting other meerkat groups to try and breed with unrelated females. When they are 2 - 3 years old they often disperse permenately. Meanwhile, low-ranking females feel the urge to have pups of their own at the age of 1, but most females are evicted permenately before their 3rd birthday.

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