The Kalahari Meerkat Project does not only do research and study conservation on meerkats but also the people working with the meerkats sometimes build good relations with the meerkats which come from a field worker naming the meerekats because once they name them then they automatically build observation bonds with individuals. Throughout the time working with the meerkats the KMP field worker biologists have come to notice some extra-ordinery facts about the study animals. The following facts how just how special meerkats are.
The oldest meerkat
The oldest meerkat observed in the project was Mabili(VDF005), the long-term dominant female of Drie Doring. Born on November 15,1993 she died at the age of 12 years old only months after her last litter. For more information about this meerkat see Mabili Drie Doring.
The youngest dominant female
The youngest female meerkat to become dominant was Babbelas(VBF039), who became dominant of Balrog at only 9 months old at that time after she took dominance from her 11 month old Mussolini(VBF038)(the daughter of Viv'e Vivian after Babbelas' mother Velvet(the former dominant female) died. Female meerkats normally acquire dominant position atleast until 1 year of age so Babbelas' achievement was really extra-ordinary. For more information abouth this meerkat see Babbelas Balrog
The most prolific Mob
Of all the groups studied by the project, the group to produce most pups was the Young Ones Mob, until Vivian Mob caught up most probably because the Young Ones dominant female Asterix(VYF084) was not very productive. Vivian now led with 140 pups raised who were born into Vivian family. However both mobs had time on their side since the first Young ones pup was born in 1993 and the first Vivian pup was born in 1995. If speed counts, Commandos Mob would most probably beat Young Ones with 30 pups in 1.5 years!. For more information aboot the mobs mentioned see Young Ones Mob, Vivian Mob and Commandos Mob.
The youngest mother
The youngest female meerkat to become a mother was Leia(VYF052), a subordinate female in Young Ones. She gave birth at 9 months old, though female meerkats reach maturity at 1 year old.
The heaviest meerkat
The heaviest non-pregnant meerkat recorded at the Kuruman River Reserve and in the project was Osprey(VLM076)(from Lazuli origin) the dominant male of Drie Doring who weighed 1017 grams. While meerkats in other richer habitats may be heavier,this is really a record or a south Kalahari meerkat. For more information about this meerkat see Osprey Lazuli.
Some dominant meerkat individuals are related and an example of this is in the Elveera Mob ,where the dominant male Dante(VEM085) was the nephew of the dominant female Eleusine(VEF??). After Eleusine was taken by a cape cobra, Dante stayed in the Elveera group with Eleusine's daughter Jo Jo Hello(VEF079) the new dominant female as her partner. However Dante was lost and Jo Jo Hello's new partner was a Young Ones male called Habusu(VYM110). Another case of this is in the Aztecs Mob where the dominant female Monkulus(VWF063) is the niece of the dominant male Zaphod(VVM032). Another case is in the JaXX Mob, where the dominant male Kori(VJXM004) is the son of the dominant female diana(VLF102). Another case is in the Frisky Mob where the dominant female Quaver(VFF138) is possibly the daughter of the dominant male Gazebo(VDM102).