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The meerkat is a mammal native to Africa that inhabits savannahs and open plains. Its distribution depends on soil type, with firm to hard soils being the usual.
It is a very sociable species that lives in herds of up to three family groups of 30 individuals in total. Each individual family group includes a breeding pair and their offspring. Breeding takes place during the warm and rainy season of the year, from August to March, and may stop during times of drought. The female gives birth to an average of 3 young after 11 weeks of gestation. The members of the pack that cannot reproduce also have their work in the group acting as breeding helpers.
In the group there is always a rotating sentinel in charge of watching out for predators and other threats. The sentinel sounds the alarm by giving a distinctive bark. If the alarm sounds for an aerial threat, they all run to their burrows, but if they are caught without time to return to the burrow the adults will cover their young with their own bodies.