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~ Where's the Sun? ~

~ Where's the Sun? ~
Photo Information
Copyright: Julia Hollis (Runnerduck) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 381 W: 57 N: 616] (1851)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-04-10
Categories: Mammals
Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S5500
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/450 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-04-10 14:34
Viewed: 3518
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Suricata suricatta

The Meerkat is a relative of the mongoose. It has a narrow pointed muzzle and dark rings around its eyes. Its ears are black and hardly visible and it has dark stripes on its shoulders, back, and tail. The underbelly is usually white and the tail is brown with a tuft of black hair on the end. It is 10-14 in. long with a 9-in. tail and weight about 5.5 pounds. It is active during the day and can be found basking in the sun in front of its burrow. It is often seen in a 'tripod' position, standing up on its hind legs and using its tail for balance. Meerkats can also close off their ears to keep out sand.

The Meerkat feeds mainly on insects, spiders, and millipedes that it digs out of the ground. It will also eat small mammals, grubs, small snakes, birds, and snake and bird eggs.

Slender-Tailed Meerkats are found in Southern Africa in habitats ranging from forests to desert. They live in underground burrows or rock crevices that can run as deep as 10 feet. They are capable of digging their own burrows but prefer using burrows that
have been dug by other animals.

Their primary predators are the Kaffir cat, Jackals and other carnivores that sometimes dig up their burrows. They are also hunted by birds of Birds of Prey.

The Meerkat is an extremely social animal. Found living in large colonies (up to 30 animals), it is not unusual to find them sharing burrows with Mongooses, Ground Squirrels, and other small rodents. As social creatures, they perform different tasks to benefit the group. The baby sitters stay close to the burrow with the young. The hunters dig for food, which they will share with the young. Sentries keep watch for predators and teachers teach the young to hunt. When attacked, Meerkats will dig up the ground to create a dust cloud to distract the predator. They will also fluff out their fur and groups will stage mock attacks to drive away the predator.

After a gestation period of about 11 weeks, Meerkats give birth to a litter of 2-4 cubs. They are born blind and hairless. After several days, they are weaned and the mother goes out to hunt. The young will stay in the burrow until they are between 2 and 4 weeks old. They start solid food at about 6 weeks. Once mature, young males will often leave to start their own colonies.

Notes taken from www.thebigzoo.com

This Meerkat was taken at Marwell Zoological Park.
Image was cropped to bring her closer, and contras adjusted.

Thanks for taking the time too look.

wideload, PDP, elroyie, sAner, LordPotty, red45, dew77, AndyB, scottevers7, gerhardt, liquidsunshine, Luc, TAZ, Callie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: ThanksRunnerduck 2 04-24 15:08
To CTP: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-21 06:24
To TAZ: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-15 02:40
To Luc: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-15 02:38
To liquidsunshine: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-15 02:37
To gerhardt: ThanksRunnerduck 3 04-13 14:07
To Fisher: ThanksRunnerduck 6 04-12 07:55
To scottevers7: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-12 07:25
To japie: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-12 07:24
To AndyB: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 14:28
To elizemeijer: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 14:27
To dew77: ThanksRunnerduck 3 04-11 09:08
To red45: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 08:29
To LordPotty: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 02:25
To marhowie: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 02:23
To Toni: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-11 02:21
To sAner: Thank youRunnerduck 1 04-11 02:18
To elroyie: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-10 16:07
To PDP: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-10 16:06
To wideload: ThanksRunnerduck 1 04-10 16:05
To AdrianW: MeerkatRunnerduck 1 04-10 16:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot! Today's duck looks a bit furry though ;) You've captured his inquisitive nature well here. There's not as much fine detail as I'd expect though - any idea why? If it were my shot I'd also consider cropping a bit off the top and left - and I must say I find the rock on the right slightly distracting too. Might be an idea to quote the source of your note too. Anyway, despite those minor nits, I like it a lot - well captured :-D

Hi Julia, a nice shot of the ever obliging Meerkat.
It does look overexposed to me, probably why there isn't a lot of detail in the fur, agree with Adrian RE the crop. A well captured typical pose though.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-04-10 15:35]
  • [+]

Hi Julia, very nice shot. It's a lovely pose. I agree with Adrians comments about the cropping and details. Nevertheless the pose makes up for it. Very well done.

Very good composition and colours, the picture is noisy, I guess it is because of a big crop that you made.

Excelent portrait of the Meerkat. The composition is well done.


I have the S5000, and I have the same problem as well when zoom cropping the image that is far to near. I have given up for that very reason, the image is pitted and loses details. I wonder if the reason is in mega pixels as our cameras are low in pixels. I don't know though, watch the 10x zoom as well if you use CCD-RAW, don't go all the way, it's not very good either.
An excelent camera when it comes to close range though.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-04-10 17:20]
  • [+]

Very cute and good shot Julia! The pose is very good, details are great and the BG is perfect. Very well done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-04-10 18:25]
  • [+]

Nice pose and soft background. Lacks details and a bit overexposed but it's very cute.

This is a classic meerkat pose.Perhaps a little on the bright side.Darkening and sharpening would possibly bring out a little more detail.
Very furry though.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-04-11 3:56]
  • [+]

Yes, I like it very much, Julia. Cute animal in very interesting pose. You were lucky to take such beautifull picture!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-04-11 6:08]
  • [+]

I like these meerkats! Especially the way they turn heads;) Right ,left,reght,left...
A little overexpose but I think it's a good composed shot with a complete note!Thnaks for sharing

Nice shot Julia, The pose makes this one a very noteworthy post..An excellent note. TFS!

Love meerkats, they are so cute :)

This is a good shot. Looks like it is slightly oversharpened on the face area ??

Good typical meerkat pose


  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-04-11 14:04]
  • [+]

A very good capture.
Nice pose and excellent clear backgound.
Good work,very well done.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-04-11 15:41]
  • [+]

Great image and pose Julia. This is a very good composition and I like the sharpness.

Very well done and thanks for posting

You cannot help but love photos of Meerkats. A nice pose with a excellent backround. Nice capture!

I know them very well. I have a family staying just across from where I live. I enjoy their antics a lot.

The pose is really cute. The sharpness as was mentioned could improve. I would love to see the unedited original photo. If you'd like you can mail it to me. Very nice capture, well done.

Nice portrait of the curious Meerkat Julia,
Good composition, well done on the soft BG. The image does seem a bit OE, but Gerhard has done a good WS to correct that.
I posted a meerkat a few weeks ago, he also had a gritty nose.
Well captured, thanks for posting.
I'm still trying to think of a clean joke to send you!!!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-04-13 19:43]
  • [+]

Personal assessment of the photo: great.
Good visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thanks, Julia. A very nice Meerkat.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-04-14 1:17]
  • [+]

Belle et intéressante photo pour cet étonnant animal. Sa position de sentinnelle est amusante ŕ regarder.
Well Done !

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2005-04-20 18:11]
  • [+]

This is an awesome picture Julia.i love the DOF,POV,details and of course the focus.I can't wait to see and buy a fujifilm finepix S5500 here in USA,looks like it does great job:)
CT of Chicago

Hi Julia
Yes, I can believe Mirr Mirr here is wondering where is the sun, I love them, and that is the sound they make, which gave them their name of meerkat. Fiesty little carnovores. A very nice picture, with the highlight in the eye. Two small things. Watch-out for too much sharpening - fade it when you use it and also look where you crop - crop about on his elbows, and see the difference that it makes to the impact of your picture. TFS

Calibration Check