Learning and teaching

Commandos pup begging from helper

Commandos pup begging from helper

Pups now have to learn to survive in the Kalahari: they learn to find and handle prey, and react properly to predators and other animals. Pups learn this with the help of older meerkats; they are first given dead and later immobilised prey, and finally live prey. The helpers thus adjust their “teaching” to the age or skills of the pups. Pups also learn to communicate, react to predator alarms with the adequate behaviour, or to mob intruders by observing older meerkats.
Begging pups are usually given food by older meerkats until they’re a few months old. The KMP classifies meerkats as pups until 3 months of age, as juveniles until 6 months, and as sub-adults until 12 months.

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