On Solidarity, Community Spirit And Going Meerkat-Mad:
August 24, 2002 3:06 PM   Subscribe

On Solidarity, Community Spirit And Going Meerkat-Mad: They're cute, they're smart; they're funny, they're sociable; they're even considered the epitome of cooperative living. In fact, they could probably teach MetaFilter a lesson or two. In their September issue, National Geographic has gone stark, raving meerkat-bonkers - and not a moment too soon either. We're talking new desktops here, no mistake..[Flash needed for first link - definitely worth waiting for it to load - Real or WindowsMedia for some other on-site features.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (20 comments total)
Wow, this is great, Miguel, thanks. There's a meerkat exhibit in the local zoo; I always stay and watch for a long time. Oh, and listen for this near the end of the 'Safety in Numbers' section: "They're sexually active all the time...they run after each other and they mate, all sorts of weird behavior that can't be told on camera." :)

One minor complaint: the audio narration sounds a bit crappy, like it was recorded on a handheld tape recorder. Strange, given the beautiful pictures and presentation.
posted by mediareport at 4:53 PM on August 24, 2002

Yes. But are they good eatin'?
posted by slipperywhenwet at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2002

Thanks Miguel! I agree, the photos are wonderful and the sound could be better in that first link. The close-up shots of those cute creatures made me laugh a little too loudly. Adorable!
posted by gummi at 5:25 PM on August 24, 2002

"Weird behaviour that can't be told on camera." Man, now I'm going to have to wait for the unrated DVD.
posted by Yogurt at 5:53 PM on August 24, 2002

"They're sexually active all the time."

Hmmm...sounds like someone I know.
posted by ColdChef at 5:58 PM on August 24, 2002

Shoooot. After after watching that flash movie, I actually feel kinda guilting about the eating thing..

When do they star in their own Disney movie?
posted by slipperywhenwet at 6:18 PM on August 24, 2002

"When do they star in their own Disney movie?"

He's not the star, but Timon from The Lion King is a meerkat.
posted by wsg at 6:29 PM on August 24, 2002

I should think so too, slipperywhenwet!

As compensation for your gastronomic repentance, here's a large and wonderful collection of meerkat photographs by John Waters.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2002

John Waters?!? Guess with Divine gone, he needed a new subject.
posted by rushmc at 6:40 PM on August 24, 2002

Oh eat shit, rushmc! [friendly Pink Flamingos reference, of course]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:44 PM on August 24, 2002

*spits beer*

Damn you rush!

After checking these links out, I was wondering if anyone had any 'Meerkat as a pet' stories. One of the first links I checked out says that it is sadly, a no-no.
posted by gummi at 7:02 PM on August 24, 2002

p.s. and there is a link on that page that refers to the meerkat that inspired The Lion King's Timon.
posted by gummi at 7:05 PM on August 24, 2002

Meerkats BITE! They FREQUENTLY bite people that work with them.

Apparently, a Meerkat would eat you if he got the chance.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 7:28 PM on August 24, 2002

Where are the missing meerkats?? And should California declare war on Texas?
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:33 PM on August 24, 2002

Wolf: I like the name of that page. /meerpet.html. I like the word meerpet. Meerpet. Meerpet. Meerpet.

"Hi, how are you, this is my meerpet."

Too bad zoos aren't allowed to have them (though after the Chinese walking fish debacle, I guess I can understand it), because they are neat little creatures.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:54 PM on August 24, 2002

Zoos aren't allowed to have them?
"Improved walkways and exhibit interpretations provide guests the opportunity to view and enjoy mammals of the Dark Continent that include Meerkats, Patas Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys..."
New Meerkat Exhibit Opens At the Jacksonville Zoo

(Off to be a social mammal...)
posted by mediareport at 8:15 PM on August 24, 2002

If you think meerkats are cute, consider domestic ferrets. They're harder to deal with than dogs or cats, in many ways, but they have the playful personality of a kitten their entire lives (the part that isn't spent sleeping, which is generally over 80%). A properly bred ferret has a child-friendly disposition (if not mistreated). They can be housebroken, with effort, but it's easier to keep them in a cage and let them out for playtime ... after number two. There are some jurisdictions in the US where ferrets remain classed as illegal wild animals, even though they've been domesticated for thousands of years. Ferrets are social, and three or more is a good number to have. They all sleep bundled together.
posted by dhartung at 11:04 PM on August 24, 2002

Remember that Meerkat is also the name for a cute RSS/RDF collector/filter thing from O'Reilly. You can also show your alligence to the furred, co-operative ones in the (geeky) relm of RSS. Snuggly.
posted by nedrichards at 5:42 AM on August 25, 2002

If you think meerkats are cute, consider domestic ferrets.

I had a ferret for a while as a kid. It was the least housetrained creature on the face of the earth (I won't go into it...shudder), and took to running up to people and biting them (hard) on the feet and legs. We all started jumping up on chairs when it came into the room. The smell was quite remarkable, too.
posted by rushmc at 8:09 AM on August 25, 2002

So no ferrets then. I'll look into stoats and weasels, then. Specially if they're the same animal...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:41 PM on August 25, 2002

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