The Meerkat is an efficient digger. Colonies on the plains may excavate their own burrows or share the holes of African ground squirrels. Colonies in stony areas live in crevices among the rocks. Outside activity is almost entirely diurnal. Meerkat society is highly regimented, and duties are taken seriously. The jobs are strictly defined: sentry, babysitter, hunter, teacher. While on “active duty” Meerkats do not eat or sleep. Around-the-clock security is provided in shifts. While on his post, the sentry remains poised on hind legs, sensitive nose constantly sniffing the air. Territories are fiercely defended by the homeowners. The Meerkat seems to enjoy basking in the sun, lying in various positions or sitting up on its haunches like a prairie dog. If food supplies run low, a colony may establish a new den ½ to 1-1/4 miles from the original site. Individuals generally forage near the burrow, turning over stones and rooting in crevices. The Meerkat is highly social. Groups usually have 2 or 3 family units and a total of 10 to 15 individuals. Each family contains a pair of adults and their young. The female may be larger than the male and may dominate him. At least 10 vocalizations have been identified, including a threatening growl and an alarm bark.