The meerkat is a small, sprightly creature found in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. They are members of the mongoose family and are known for their distinctive upright posture and for standing on their hind legs to look around. Meerkats are also known for their sharp claws and teeth, as well as their ability to dig rapidly in the sand.
One of the most interesting things about meerkats is their social behavior. These animals live in colonies that can have up to 40 members. The colonies are organized into groups of five to six animals called “mobs.” Each mob has one dominant female, or “alpha female,” responsible for defending the group’s territory and providing food for her siblings.
So what makes meerkats so unique? Well, they’re just one example of an amazing creature that can be found in the wild. And while meerkats may be one of the more unusual animals out there, they’re certainly not the only ones worth comparing to them.
10 Animals Like Meerkats
Here are just a few of the animals like meerkats and some similarities they have with them.
Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Raccoons are interesting animals found in many parts of the world. They are commonly found in North America, but they can also be found in Europe, Asia, and South America. Raccoons are very adaptable creatures and can live in a variety of habitats, from forests and swamps to urban areas.
They are also omnivorous animals whose diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, insects, and small mammals. Raccoons are very similar to meerkats in many ways. They are both small animals with bushy tails, and they are both very good at climbing trees.
Additionally, raccoons are friendly creatures that enjoy the company of others, just like meerkats!
Fun Fact: Raccoons are known to carry disease-causing parasites such as raccoon roundworm, leptospirosis, and distemper.
2. Yellow Mongoose
Scientific Name: Cynictis penicillata
Also known as the red meerkat, the yellow mongoose is a small mammal found in southern Africa. These creatures are closely related to meerkats and share many similarities with their cousins. Both yellow mongooses and meerkats live in social groups, with each group consisting of a few adults and their offspring.
These animals are also very intelligent, using cooperative hunting techniques to capture prey. In addition, both yellow mongooses and meerkats have distinctive markings that help camouflage them in their natural habitat.
While yellow mongooses are not as well-known as their meerkat cousins, they are equally fascinating creatures that play an essential role in the African ecosystem.
Fun Fact: Yellow Mongooses are great diggers, and they create extensive burrows up to 1.5 meters (5ft) long with over 40 entrances and exits featuring different tunnels and chambers.
Scientific Name: Tamias
Chipmunks are cute, small, and fuzzy ground-dwelling rodents found in woods and meadows across North America. These beloved creatures are well-known for their striped coats and their playful antics. Chipmunks are similar to meerkats in several ways, including their social behavior and love of play.
Both chipmunks and meerkats live in small groups, with each group comprising a few adults and their young ones. In addition, both animals are known for being very active and playful. One of the most notable differences between chipmunks and meerkats is their appearance.
Chipmunks have soft, furry coats that are typically brown or gray in color. In contrast, meerkats have short, coarse fur that is usually yellow or brown.
Fun Fact: A tiny chipmunk can collect up to 165 acorns per day.
4. Prairie Dog
Scientific Name: Cynomys
The prairie dog is a small rodent living in North America’s grasslands. They live in colonies and eat a variety of things, including grass, roots, and insects. Prairie dogs are quite similar to meerkats Both species are social animals living in colonies and primarily active during the day.
Both animals are also known for their burrowing habits. Prairie dogs build extensive underground tunnel systems, while meerkats live in more simplistic burrows. Prairie dogs are typically brown or reddish-brown in color, with white markings on their chests and bellies.
On the other hand, Meerkats are usually yellow or brown with darker patches around their eyes.
Fun Fact: Prairie dog’s whole mating season lasts just an hour long every year.
Scientific Name: Marmota
Marmots are cute, fury rodents living in North America, Europe, and Asia mountains. They are closely related to ground squirrels and prairie dogs. Marmots are similar to meerkats because they are both social animals living in groups.
Both animals also live in burrows. However, marmots’ burrows are self-dug with several entrances and can be up to 30 feet long.
Marmots eat a variety of things, including leaves, flowers, grasses, bark, and insects. They also store food in their burrows for the winter.
Fun Fact: Marmots hibernate for 7-8 months every year, and they often lose up to 2/3 of their entire body weight during hibernation.
Scientific Name: Mustela
Weasels are small, carnivorous mammals that can be found in a variety of habitats around the world. In North America, weasels occupy a wide range of habitats, including forests, fields, and even urban areas. These industrious animals are constantly on the move in search of food, which consists mainly of small rodents such as mice and voles.
Weasels share several similarities with another small mammal: the meerkat. Both weasels and meerkats live in social groups and are constantly looking for predators and prey. They also have similar body proportions, with long necks and short legs.
However, the most striking similarity between these two animals is their habit of standing up on their hind legs to get a better view of their surroundings. This behavior helps them to spot potential dangers and determine the best course of action.
Fun Fact: Weasels can kill much bigger prey than themselves, such as squirrels and rabbits.
7. Banded Mongoose
Scientific Name: Mungos mungo
The banded Mongoose is a small carnivore that lives in Africa. Like meerkats, banded mongooses are also very social animals and live in large groups of up to 40 individuals. Additionally, the two animals are quite similar in both appearance and behavior.
They have long bodies, short legs, and pointed snouts. They are also excellent diggers and build caves to live in. Banded Mongooses eat various foods, including insects, small mammals, and eggs.
However, their favorite food is termites. They use their sharp claws and teeth to break into termite mounds and then feast on the insects inside. Banded Mongoose is also known for being excellent caregivers.
If a mother dies, another female in the group will step in to care for her offspring. This ensures that the young mongoose has a good chance of survival.
Fun Fact: A banded mongoose can kill a snake up to three times their size.
Scientific Name: Neovison vison
Minks are small, carnivorous mammals of the Mustelidae family, which also include weasels, otters, and ferrets. Native to North America and parts of Europe, minks typically live near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and marshes.
These semi-aquatic creatures are strong swimmers and good climbers, and they use their long, slim bodies to wriggle into tight spaces in search of prey. Minks are mainly active at night when they hunt for insects, small rodents, and other small animals.
They will also eat fish, frogs, and crustaceans. Although they are relatively solitary creatures, minks will sometimes form family groups or share dens with other minks. Minks are similar to meerkats in a number of ways.
First, they are both members of the Mustelidae family. Additionally, they are both relatively small animals with long bodies and short legs. They are also both proficient swimmers and climbers.
Furthermore, minks and meerkats are mainly nocturnal hunters who eat a diet of small animals and insects. Finally, these two creatures often live in family groups or share living quarters with others of their kind. In many ways, minks can be thought of as furry little meerkats!
Fun Fact: Minks often communicate using visual signs, body odors, and sounds.
Scientific Name: Mustela putorius furo
Ferrets are not common compared to meerkats, but the two mammals have some similarities. For example, ferrets and meerkats are both carnivores, and they both live in social groups. Ferrets are also very playful animals, and they enjoy exploring their surroundings.
Meerkats are known for being vigilant and cautious animals, and they are able to warn their pack of danger. Ferrets are not quite as cautious as meerkats, but they are still intelligent and playful animals.
Fun Fact: Over 2,500 years ago, ferrets used to be domestic animals, and people used them for hunting rodents and rabbits.
Scientific Name: Meles meles
Badgers are small, stocky animals with short legs and long bodies. They have black-and-white fur, and their faces are covered with thick white stripes. Badgers live in tunnels that they dig themselves.
These tunnels are usually located in open fields, near forests, or at the edges of woods. Badgers are primarily nocturnal, but they can sometimes be seen during the day. They are solitary animals and only come together to mate.
Badgers eat a variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. They will also eat fruits and vegetables if they can find them. Like meerkats, badgers are very curious creatures.
They are also very good at digging holes!
Fun Fact: A badger’s sense of smell is around 800 sharper than a human’s.