SURICATE, or MEERKAT (Suricata tetradactyla) , a small South African mammal of the civet family, ranging from Cape Colony to Algoa Bay. The head and body are about 14 in. long, and the tail half as much; the fur is long and soft, light grizzled grey in colour, and banded with black on the lower part of the back. Meerkats are sociable animals, living in holes in the rocks on the mountains, and burrowing in the sandy soil of the plains. They form amusing pets, and in a wild state, writes Mrs A. Martin, they feed chiefly on " succulent bulbs, which they scratch up with the long, curved, black claws on their fore-feet. They are devoted sun-worshippers and in the early morning, before it is daylight, they emerge from their burrows and wait in rows till their divinity appears, when they bask joyfully in his beams."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)