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Meerkats


Meerkats
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-03
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Zoo animals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-08-15 11:11
Viewed: 10152
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I'm sure there is a witty title for this one but I can't think at the moment....

2 Meerkats enjoying the sun at Paignton Zoo, Devon.

Conditions: Dry, Sunny, mid-afternoon.
Manual Exposure, RAW, handheld.

General info about the Meerkat, courtesy of paigntonzoo.org.uk:

Habitat:
Desert
Size:
Length: 30 centimetres (12 inches), weight: 900 grams.

Wild Diet:
Scorpions, beetles, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, worms, crickets, small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, tubers and roots.

Behaviour:
Meerkats are a type of mongoose. The English translation is marsh cat, although meerkats don't live near marshes and they are not cats. They have a black-tipped tail that aids in balance, grey or tan fur with dark stripes across back, long claws on front paws for digging and climbing, pointed snout and small black eyes surrounded by patches of black fur. A group of meerkats, usually five to thirty members, is called a "mob" or a "gang." Meerkats are very territorial and will fiercely defend their home from other meerkat gangs. They live in colonies with strict social structure that relies on cooperation, love and family. Using their sharp claws, they dig huge burrows with tunnel systems for the colony. Their tails are long and thin with a dark tip. The dark tip is one of the means in which a meerkat can identify another gang member. They also mark each other to identify each other through smell. When Meerkats forage for food they tend to do it in a group with one of the group members acting as a sentry watching out for any predators. They put their tails upright to enable them to be easily identified by their fellow gang members. They also communicate by sound using a variety of calls to signal certain situations such as being lost, alarm calls, leading the group calls, pup feeding calls, guarding calls, and foraging calls.

Breeding:
The female has 2 to 5 young, usually once a year, after a gestation period of 11 weeks. The young are born with eyes and ears closed and are sparsely furred. Various adults will baby-sit the youngsters while the mother feeds.

Interesting Fact:
Meerkats eat poisonous scorpions by quickly biting off their stingers, and then eating the rest!

ljsugarnspice, PDP, liquidsunshine, coasties, thistle, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-08-15 15:42]

Hello Andy, nice shot. The scene and poses are excellent. Somehow the composition does not feel perfectly balanced. I'm finding it hard to say exactly why but I think the sitting Meerkat grabs the attention first and does not have enough space to look into, it's only then I notice the reclining one. I think a bit of cropping could put more empahsis on the lower Meerkat. That said it's a very nice shot.

Well done.

Hello Andy!
Great, funny and nice picture!
I'm in love with your Meerkat :-) Superb!

  • Great 
  • Ina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 6 N: 101] (767)
  • [2005-08-15 16:17]

What a cute and fine picture... You made a very nice composition and the poses of these two fellows are fantastic... TFS...Ina...

Great shot Andy,
This is a brilliant capture
Good detail and great POV. Nicely exposed. Well composed. good framing, good colours & Well captured, thanks for posting.

Hello Andy

Don't you just love these guys? They have such cheeky faces. Nicely composed shot. Good light and POV. Nice seeing two together. You got a catchlight in the eye of both. Well done!

There's something lovely in this shot - probably the models ;)
The photo has superb details and colours, lighting is perfect and the POV couldn't have been better.
The whole has great mood, I have feeling it is full of calmness and I like it very much.
WELL DONE & TFS

Hello Andy, How about "Whiskey Barrel Lookout" ;-) I like this scene and both poses are excellent. Very good sharpness, details, DOF, colors and light..Great shot!

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