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The meerkat is a small member of the mongoose family that inhabits the dry open areas and savannahs of southern Africa. Meerkats are known for their upright posture and highly sociable behavior, similar to prairie dogs. These social animals live in colonies (called a mob) and dig elaborate underground burrows. Meerkats typically stand up straight on their hind legs or even their toes to sniff the wind and search for attacking vultures. They have excellent vision and are capable of making at least ten types of sounds, including an alarm bark.