Immune to venom
Meerkats do not often eat scorpions, but they have developed a technique for handling the venom found in their stinger. The meerkat will move in on the scorpion quickly, grabbing the arachnid before biting off the tail and stinger. Without its tail the scorpion can’t strike a venomous blow. Millipedes are another poisonous meal that meerkats often enjoy – however they are coated in toxins. To combat this, meerkats have learned to rub and roll millipedes in the sand to remove any poison.
Meerkats have sensational vision that allows them to both spot birds in the sky from miles away but also see clearly underground. Long horizontal pupils also allow meerkats a wide range of sight, without the need for them to turn their heads. They also possess a membrane that shields them from dirt when they are digging.
Numerous studies have found meerkats use complex coordinated behaviours to solve different tasks both independently and with their mob. Studies have even shown that certain members of the mob are more likely to solve experiments than others – in particular, when it came to obtaining food.
A meerkats diet is incredibly varied and includes all sorts of insects, lizards, fruit, plants, spiders, scorpions and eggs. They even catch poisonous millipedes and sometimes snatch small bids.