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Sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-08-28
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Minolta Dimage Z1
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Johannesburg Zoo
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, Things in and around my house., Baby Animals 2, Family Matters 2, Juveniles [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-04 4:24
Viewed: 6197
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Meerkats (Suricata suricatta)

They inhabit portions of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, extending from the south west arid biotic zone and eastward into neighboring southern savanna and grassland areas. These areas include the majority of the southern tip of Africa up to about 17 degrees south latitude.

Meerkats inhabit the most open and arid country of any mongoose species. They are found in areas of savannah and open plains and their distribution depends on soil type, with firm to hard soils being common living grounds.

Females typically breed at about 24 months of age. The breeding season is extended in meerkats when conditions are favorable. In addition, females exhibit no synchrony of estrous, mating, or birth. Therefore, the pack can produce young throughout the year. In the wild, however, births occur most often during the rainy, warmer part of the year from August through March. Breeding may stop during times of drought.

Gestation has been reported to be approximately 11 weeks. In captivity, Meerkats have been known to give birth to 11 litters in 31 months. In the wild, the average litter size is 3 offspring and females can have up to 3 litters per year.

Young are altricial, with ears and eyes closed. They are unable to urinate or defecate without stimulation from their mother. Ears open at about 10 days of age, and eyes at 10-14 days. Young are weaned between 49 and 63 days of age. Meerkats become sexually mature around 1 year of age.

As in all mammals, the mother provides the offspring with milk. Young mothers carry their young by picking them up any which-way, whereas older, experienced mothers always carry young by the nape of the neck. The father meerkat may take an active role in parental care by guarding the young. Because of the highly social nature of meerkats, non-breeding individuals are often part of the pack. These non-breeders act as helpers, guarding and provisioning the young.

Although they live right across the street from my house, I chose to post the pictures from the Zoo so that you can see the little ones. In the wild the caretakers are overly protective and scurry at the slightest movement.

Lesley, RAP, AndyB, PDP, Esox, carper, Callie, japie, milloup, jhm, Lourens, nwoehnl, jan100, Luc, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Esox: Ind. Light & Magicgerhardt 1 09-06 16:51
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Critiques [Translate]

Gerhard, Nice shot of the attentive parents caring for their kids. I would like to see more contrast between the animals and the BG. I understand also that sometimes you have to live with the situation.
Good family shot.
Greetings, Jan

And isn't this so typical of parents to "look the other way" when the kids are acting up! This is too cute Gehard! Well seen...great timimg... just a really great and fun photo!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-04 6:46]

Hace unos días visité el Zoo de Buenos Aires y disfruté de la simpatía y explosividad estos animales... aunque al descubrir una cría muerta entre ellos, me apenó por cierto.
Bella imagen familiar, con excelente encuadre y colorido.
Estos suricatas siempre parecen dispuestas a ser fotografiados... así, todo es más fácil.... jejejeje.
Bien hecho.

Days ago I visited the Zoo of Buenos Aires and I enjoyed the liking and the explosive character these animals... although when discovering a young died among them, caused sorrow to me by the way.
Beautiful familiar image, with excellent colorful and frame.
These suricatas always seem arranged to be photographed... thus, everything is easier.... jejejeje.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-09-04 10:08]

A lovely capture,very cute.
Nice detail of the fur and a great pose the parents are giving with the playing young ones in between.
A very informative note too.

Cute Gerhard,
I like this suricatas .
Good colours and nice compo.
Good note.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-04 12:19]

Good work gerhard, the note is excellet as usual and the picture is good too. The caretakers looking out for the littles ones while they are playing. Good stuff.

A very nice one, Gerhard.
Meerkats are so cute!
Good details and focus.
A little dark, to say something I've made a little workshop, I hope you like it.)
Good job, you did there.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2004-09-04 14:26]

They are lovely Gerhard,
Good note, good capture, the next time give a little yell and they all look to the lens. great job

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2004-09-04 15:20]

Mjir, mjir, 2 graatjies! Pragtig, Cute, as they say in English! Everything here is spot on, I love this pic, Gerhard.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-09-04 16:23]

WWE wresting match with two referees. I love these little guys - they have lots of guts and tend to be funny too. Very good note. Get yourself a meerkat costume and tkae some shot of the ones opposite your house and while you are at it, a shot of you in the costume:)

These little chaps - parents and youngsters alike - are just soo cute ;-) Don't know if it's their way of sitting which makes them look almost human ;-))
Nice tone-in-tone capture with very good details.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-09-05 3:55]

Splendid photo here, Gerhard, the parents take care of the birth of young in between. Excellent composition, great work here.

Very nice capture of these Meerkat, Gerhard. A real family photo!

I guess the secret about the appeal of the Meerkats is their seemingly human-like posing and, sometimes, behavior. The fun touch of this one is how the parents seem to focus on something outside the frame, while the little ones put on some fight. Love the alert eyes. Very cute catch, Gerhard.

  • Great 
  • jan100 (0)
  • [2004-09-06 14:01]

This is a lovely shot. Not an easy shot to get. I love the way the Meerkats are both looking in the same direction. Excellent well done

Shot deserves a Big smile but you get a penalty because it is a zoo pick.
Anyway timing is great and the photo talks a lot by itself.

Dear Gerhard

Thanks for sharing this family life photo. I have added it to my theme "Juveniles".

Greetings from South Africa
Ingrid Shaul

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