Morning sun warms a meerkat clan.
WHILE WARMING THEMSELVES in morning sun, a family of meerkats in South Africa stands to scan for predators before heading out to hunt for food. This is one of several habituated groups of meerkats researchers have been studying since the early 1990s as part of the Kalahari Meerkat Project, one of the longest-running studies of animal behavior and communication.
With a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, photographer Jen Guyton spent a year documenting the animals, even lying down in this field of yellow Devil’s thorn to capture the clan at ground level. “These are highly social animals,” says Guyton, “and young ones imitate adult behavior”—learning, for example, how to safely eat one of their favorite foods: scorpions. Adult females pitch in to care for the group’s pups, so survival rates are high. And their complex language has “syntax,” says Guyton, with combinations of calls that signal whether a predator is near or far and either flying or creeping on the ground. “Because meerkats are such charismatic animals,” she adds, “they can be ambassadors for nature”—and for conservation.
Americans are about to experience a rare phenomenon for the first time in 17 years: the return of Brood X periodical cicadas!Get the Facts
Hear from champions for greater and safer access to the outdoors as they discuss the potential solutions to address the intersectional issues faced by Black communities.Listen Now
By taking the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, your local leaders can commit to uniting your community around saving the imperiled monarch. Send a message today urging your mayor or head of local or Tribal government to pledge before April 30!Act Now
Get quotes now or call (855) 786-0941Get Quotes Now
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.