Alert Meerkat Sentries Sound Emergency Broadcast System Alarm Upon Sight of an Approaching Jackal

Incoming Jackal Meerkat EBS

In a remarkable clip from the 2013-2014 BBC Earth series Natural World: Meerkats – The Secrets Of An Animal Superstar, narrator Sir David Attenborough introduces Associate Professor Marta Manser of the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich, who has been working with the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa. Specifically, Manser has been researching how these little suricates warn one another of incoming danger. Her experiments included an approaching cougar and a floating jackal, but the situation that received the most intensive response was the same jackal, but on wheels making its approach on land. Almost immediately, the meerkats deployed their emergency broadcast system, a series of distinct calls made by the sentries to the rest of the group. As the jackal moved closer, the calls became more intense.

Meerkats use different alarm calls depending on the predator: learn how to communicate meerkat style.

Floating Jackal