Meerkat Manor

a writing by Paul Butters

(First written Monday, October 01, 2007). And now for something completely different! Love Meerkat Manor. All about a family group called "The Whiskers" and their various neighbours from hell. On and off they all have jobs: lookouts, babysitters, teaching pups to forage, warriors etc. The way they all gang up on a snake as a team is marvellous to watch! And they once screened the pups from a predatory bird!

There is always a Dominant Male and Dominant Female, and these have almost exclusive mating rights. I say almost because roving males from outside the group sometimes "pick off" some females.

The other day, watching the third series, I noticed that the "Dominants" are NOT just big bullies! The defining feature of dominance seems to be that some of the OTHERS FOLLOW the dominant. In "The Starskey" group, they soon FOLLOWED Kinkajou (?) rather than Mozart and let K eat M's newborn pups!

The Whiskers have split now because half of them FOLLOWED Maybelline to a new burrow to form "The Aztecs", leaving "Rocket-Dog" in charge of "The Whiskers"! "Follow You, Follow Me!" Somehow each Dominant inspires others to be Led by him or her! It's all about Leadership. Fascinating.

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