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Hasil cari dari kata atau frase: Suricata suricata (0.01888 detik)
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English → English
Definition: Suricata suricata
(m[=e]r"k[a^]t), n. [D.] (Zo["o]l.)
A South African carnivore (Suricata suricata
), allied to the ichneumons, having a
lemurlike face and only four toes; called also yellow mongoose
. [Also spelled mierkat
While his compatrioits scuffle about in the sand for
delicious scorpions or fat, tasty mice, one meerkat
stands alone, bolt upright on an exposed perch,
scanning for hawks with dark eyes wide, ready to call
out at the first sign of danger. Like other such guards
in the animal kingdom, these endearingly vulnerable
meerkat sentinels have long impressed biologists as
true altruists -- creatures willing to forgo food and
brave danger to protect others.
Now a study in the current Science suggests that these
beasts may not be such adorable heroes after all.
Researchers have discovered that meerkats abandon their
hunting to act as guards only when their bellies are
good and full. And they appear to do so, not as an act
of noble daring, but because by being the first to see
a predator, they can be sure of being the first down a
hole and out of harm's way. Standing guard, researchers
concluded, may be the safest thing to do once a meerkat
has had enough to eat.
. . .
Even the adorable meerkat may yet redeem itself as a
bit of an altruist. Although being a sentinel may
itself not entail great risk, it is hard to imagine a
selfish reason for their giving a shout of warning
before dashing for cover. . . . --Carol Kaesuk
Yoon (N. Y.
Times, June 8,
1999 p. F3)
A South African mongooselike viverrine (Suricata suricata
having a lemurlike face and only four toes; called also
. [Also spelled meerkat