These cute and innocent animals are not what we thought they were. A study showed that meerkats are the most murderous mammal. They don’t even kill their prey as much as they kill their own.
Scientists from the University of Granada researched 1,024 species of mammals. They chose the species based on how many deaths they caused to their own members. The numbers that they found are alarming for the meerkats. Adding all the deaths in the meerkats kind they found that 19.4% of them were caused by their own “families”.
These animals are carnivorous mammals that look and behave just like cats. They live in mobs, a group that has from 20 to 50 members, depending on the type of families that they have.
The meerkats were known for having this type of behavior despite the fact that they are social and hunt together. Another previous research showed that these catlike animals kill infants in order to have dominance and to have resources.
The ones that are in charge kill the pups of those subordinated to them and the subordinates kill other infants to provide resources for their own pups. It is all about the safety and dominance in these families.
The study conducted by the scientists at the University of Granada showed that these little creatures are more dangerous for their own kind that the bears who have a 9.7% rate of kills.
The list of mammals that have been selected as the most murderous ones are the Red-fronted lemur, Black lemur, blue monkey, New Zealand sea lion, Lion banded Mongoose, Grey wolf, and many others.
The curious part is that the little and fragile animals tend to kill more of their own just to be dominant or to have more resources compared to the larger animals that hunt on their own.
This research was made in order to shed some light on how humans have a tendency to kill other humans. They want to show what makes humans kill by studying other mammals. Since the humans have their roots in the mammals maybe their reasons are the same, dominance and resources.
Have you ever thought that meerkats are such killers?
Image source: Wikipedia