This passage is about how meerkats live.

Lexile Level: 1140L

Categories: Animals & Nature

The meerkat is a small, furry mammal that inhabits the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Meerkats usually grow to about two feet in length and weigh about one and a half pounds. They are extremely social animals, living in large groups that consist of as many as thirty individuals. Meerkats make their home in networks of underground passages, emerging only during the day to hunt for insects, socialize, and play. Every meerkat in the group shares the duties and the dangers of communal living. While some members are out searching for food, others stand sentry, watching for predators. When a threat is detected, the sentry issues a loud barking sound, and the rest of the group takes shelter in one of the many entrances to the lair. Meerkats also baby-sit each other's young, and when danger is announced, the caretaker will move the young underground. If there is no time to reach safety, the baby-sitter will gather the young together and lie down on top of them.


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