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Transcript of Meerkats
suricata suricatta The Kalahari Desert The Biological Community The Kalahari desert contains various kinds of faunas and floras.
Some faunas that are found in the Kalahari Desert are lions, hyenas, large birds, ostriches, springboks, meerkats, and much more.
Some smaller animals that are found are lizards, snakes, scorpions, spiders, and centipedes.
Specifically, meerkats live in a group called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about half this in the wild. This illustrates a clumped community. They all live together to help each other survive. Abiotic Factors and the Importance Abiotic factors are non-living components that are also the physical factors in an environment. The abiotic factors in the Kalahari desert are sand, sunlight, water, air, and temperature. These factors determine the lifestyle of the plants and animals that live in the environment. For example, because rainfall is uncommon in the Kalahari desert, plants such as cacti and desert melons are adjusted to this environment. When there is rain, these plants absorb all the water until the rain stops. During hot summers, the primary consumers are then able to obtain the water that has been absorbed. Temperature determines the condition of environment that the animals have to adapt to. Because of the hot temperatures, the meerkats have adapted to them. They lick their fur in order to keep them cool during the hot summers. These abiotic factors affect the behaviors of the animals. Producers:
Because the desert is very dry and does not receive much rainfall, its floras are not colorful.
Some floras that can be found are the Camel horn, horned melons, shepherd's tree, and hoodia trees.
Scorpions, spiders, butterflies, worms, beetles, centipedes, and many other little critters. Also, small mammals and birds and lizards. The primary consumers feed off the producers in order to survive.
Large snakes, meerkats, Gemsbok, antelopes, and wort hogs. These animals feed off their primary consumers and producers to survive.
Kalahari lions, hyenas, large birds such as eagles, and the african dog. These animals are the top of the food chain. They eat the secondary consumers and get all the energy that has been taken in by the secondary consumers. Predator-Prey Relationship When Miso and I went to the Los Angeles zoo, we carefully observed the Meerkat and its relationship with its prey. The meerkat started to dig into the dirt, and we realized that it was searching for food such as spiders, worms, and other insects. In this illustration, the meerkat is the predator eating its prey. However, in the overall food chain, the meerkat represents the secondary consumer while the insects represent the primary consumer. By: Miso Kim and Joy Park
AP Biology (0-1) Meerkats are mostly found in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Africa, and also in the Namib Desert in Namibia, southwestern Angola, and South Africa. The Kalahari desert is between 20-30 degrees South of the equator.
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in southern Africa extending 900,00km. There are small amounts of rainfall ranging from 3-7.5 inches per year.
The summer temperature is very high, ranging from 68 to 113 F (20-45 C). Food Chain Symbiotic Relationships: Symbiotic Relationship is a prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may benefit one another. However, when we observed the Meerkat, there was no symbiotic relationship.
For example, a microbe and a cactus. In the desert, the climate is very humid and dry, therefore, not a lot of plants can absorb water. Therefore, the microbe can help benefit the cactus. A microbe is a bacterium that causes disease or fermentation. And the microbe absorbs water for the cactus, acting as its roots. Without this support, the cactus would die. Animal Behavior and Significance Because the Meerkats live in an environment with cold nights, they have different behaviors in order to keep them warm. For example, Meerkats have a hairless patch on their bellies in order to absorb the heat to keep them warm in cool nights. During the day, when temperatures are high, they bury themselves in the ground or relax under trees in order to keep them cool. They perform their tasks to benefit the group and are fiercely territorial. Meerkats have an outstanding vision that keeps them alert of all predators during the night because deserts tend to be pitch dark during the night. Human Impact The Kalahari Desert is located in an area where there are not much human impacts. However, there are indigenous people called the Klun and the San. They use the resources that are provided in the Kalahari desert. For example, they kill antelopes to eat and use their skin for clothing. They live nomadic styles and use excessive resources in the dry season such as fat and water kept in Ostrich eggshells. Because of these indigenous people, the resources for other animals are decreasing. Producers Primary Consumers Secondary Consumers Higher Level Consumers Food Chain Meerkats Behaviors Lion King 1/2 Dig a Tunnel Timon and Pumba Meerkat (Timon) Behavior