Newborn pup

Infanticide (© C. Rayner 2006)

Infanticide (© C. Rayner 2006)

The first four days are the most dangerous time in the life of a meerkat: Litters are often killed by other pregnant meerkat females, who want to raise the chances of survival for their own pups. Infanticides are less likely to occur after the first four days; strong females thus evict other pregnant females to keep their litters safe. Furthermore, babysitters stay with the pups to protect them. The pups’ eyes are closed before they leave the burrow. The pups are nursed by their mother, and in many cases, other females will also lactate to the pups, especially if they just aborted or lost their own litter.

Comments are closed