Homeschool Share: an online homeschool curriculum cooperative hosting over 500 unit studies, lapbooks, printables, and other resources.

Free Meerkat Animal Study & Lapbook

Meerkat Animal Study & Lapbook
Research done by Lisa H. and Eloise; Meerkat graphics done by Breezy Tulip for HSS; Templates made by Ami


Lapbook Templates

Meerkat Menu Simple Fold
The Mob
Photos (use as desired)
Anatomy Flap
Map Matchbook
Graphic (use as desired)
Facts Book
Occupations Window
Postcards (print on cardstock)
Postcard Pocket Book
Family Photo Album
Classification Flap
Cover Page
Predators Simple Fold    

Homeschool Share also has a literature based unit study for Meerkat Mail

Sample Lapbook Photos









Scientific Classification:
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Herpestidae
Genus: Suricata
Species: suricatta

What is a Meerkat?
The name comes from the Dutch language and means lake cat.  These interesting creatures live in southern Africa in the Kalahari Desert.  A meerkat, also known as a suricat, stands about 12-24 inches tall. It weighs 1 to 2 lbs and lives up to 13 years.  The black around the eyes help protect from the glare of the sunlight.  The black works like natural sunglasses!.  A meerkat has strong curved claws that are almost 1 inch long.  These claws help the meerkat dig burrows and hunt for food.  
The meerkat uses its tail to balance when standing upright.  The meerkat has small black, crescent-shaped ears that can close when digging to keep the sand out. They have short parallel stripes across their backs extending from the base of the tail to the shoulders. The patterns of stripes are unique to each meerkat. The underside of the meerkat has no markings, but the belly has a patch which is only sparsely covered with hair and shows the black skin underneath. The meerkat uses this area to absorb heat while standing on its rear legs, usually early in the morning after cold desert nights.  Enchanted Learning Printout

Meet the Family:
A group of meerkats living together is called a gang or a mob and the mob can get as big as fifty meerkats, but usually they average twenty.  Sometimes the meerkat shares its burrows with the yellow mongoose and ground squirrels.  Meerkats also like to socialize.  They share food, groom each other, snuggle, compete in foot races or a wrestling match.   Meerkat babies, or pups, are born in litters of 1-5.  And a female meerkat can have four litters per year.  Pups stay protected in the burrows, but start to venture out at 3 weeks. 

Im Hungry:
The most interesting thing on a meerkats menu is venomous snakes and scorpions.  They are immune to the poison even the venom of cobras.  Meerkats also eat insects, snails, spiders, plants, rodents, birds, eggs, and lizards. Every once in awhile, a meerkat will eat a small bird.  Meerkats get most of their water from the plants they eat.

Meerkat Chores:
The mob will share chores: guard, babysitter, and teacher.

GUARD:  While the mob searches for food or plays, the guard will climb to the top of a rock and look out for their safety.  This meerkat stands up on its hind legs, balances with its tail and watches for attacks from the ground and the air.  If a predator is spotted, the meerkats will make barking, peeping or whistling sounds.  The guard has one alarm for ground attacks and another for air. When the alarm sounds, the meerkats race to safety usually a hole. Each meerkat will usually stand guard for about an hour before another meerkat takes over.  The guards are on the look-out for jackals and birds of prey (such as eagles and falcons).   Are meerkats tasty? I dont know, but you could ask someone who has eaten one.  The predators that hunt meerkats are jackals, eagles, and falcons.  They also have to guard their young from cobras. 

BABYSITTER:  This meerkat watches and protects the pups. The babysitter on duty will also help move the pups if the mob needs to move to a different area. 

TEACHER: A teacher can be a babysitter or the pups own mom.  The pups will learn how to communicate, hunt poisonous scorpions and snakes and forage for other food. The teacher brings them food. This way, the pups learn what they are supposed to eat.

When learning how to kill a scorpion, the teacher will remove the scorpion tail. The pup will still have to deal with the scorpions claws, but not the stinger in its tail.

Do meerkats make good pets?
No.  Unfortunately, meerkats cannot be housebroken nor can they curb the natural ability to dig.  Some people have tried to make them pets, only to find that their meerkat has burrowed through the living room wall.



Where Do I Live?

What Do I Eat?

 Other Information

Dwarf Mongoose



Mainly insects.


Banded Mongoose


Across sub-Saharan Africa, from Gambia to Ethiopia and to South Africa.

Mainly insects.


Indian Grey Mongoose


Southern India

In forests and in fields.

Small mammals such as rats, as well as eggs and a variety of insects, including scorpions.

They are known for killing poisonous snakes.


Liberian Mongoose



Earthworms and other insects.


Malagasy Mongoose

Also known as the falanouc.


Throughout the lowland swamp and rainforest areas of northwestern and eastern Madagascar.

Mainly earthworms and small vertebrates such as mice.

Nocturnal and solitary.


Marsh Mongoose


Throughout sub-Saharan Africa

Crabs, snails and frogs.