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WATCH: Meerkat Mob vs Cobra – Who Are You Betting On? 

meerkat

If someone were to ask me who would win in the fight, a Meerkat Mob vs Cobra, my money would have been on the Cobra. But after watching this surprising video of Meerkats taking on a threatening Cobra I can’t contain my amazement!

In the video we can see the Meerkat mob surround the Cobra, intimidating it to such an extent that this predator – who could easily kill an individual Meerkat – gives up his quest for a quick meal. The Meerkat stayed clear of the Cobra’s striking distance but never backed down. Demonstrating the truth behind strength in numbers. 

The Stats: Meerkat vs Cobra

Meerkat mob
Portrait of Meerkat family by nathan726.

So let’s have a look at these two animals’ stats to help us decide who is the best bet: 

MeerkatCobra
Scientific NameSuricata suricatta (part of the mongoose family) Naja
HabitatOpen plains, grasslands and savannas in southern Africa (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe)Bushveld, desert, fynbos, savannas, wetlands and semidesert regions. 
SizeAverage weight: 2.2 lbs
Average length: 13 inches (their tail adds up to another 10 inches!)
Average weight: 1.9 – 4.4 lbs
Average length: 4ft
SpeedTop speed of 10 mphTop speed of 12 mph
DietOmnivores (ranging from spiders, beetles, scorpions and caterpillars to plants, eggs, fruit, birds, and even small reptiles)Carnivores (lizards, frogs,  rodents, birds, other snakes and carrion)
ReproductionMammals
Mating season: October to June
Average of 4 pups per litter
Oviparous
Mating season: September and October
8-20 eggs
Social StructureLive in groups ranging anything between 3 to 50 Meerkats called clans or mobsSolitary animals

Meerkat Behavior

Sentinel Meerkat
Sentinel Meerkat by Alexa

The Social Community Life of Meerkats

Now that we’ve had a look at the stats, let’s look at the Meerkat’s social behavior. These agile busy bodies are very social and live in mobs of various sizes. In these communities, they all participate in keeping an eye out for predators and danger, gathering food, and taking care of the young ones. With the young ones joining in the mob’s activities from the age of 3 months. 

The Sentry System in Meerkat Mobs

Meerkats also act as sentries. Where one or more of the mob finds a high point to keep a lookout for danger during the day. Standing on their hind legs they search the sky for these dangers, but as seen in the video danger can come from anywhere! When the sentry spots danger it will squeal at a high pitch, warning the mob to scramble for cover – or intimidate a Cobra! 

Defense Tactics and Group Protection in Meerkats

When faced with dangers, these nippy little creatures tend to scatter and hide in the bolt holes they dug in case of emergencies. However, if they face a predator in the open these cute, sharp-faced animals will try their best to look fierce. Which translates to falling on their back, displaying their teeth and sharp, long claws. If the group faces danger, they will stand together with their backs arched and hair raised while hissing. This fools some predators into thinking that they are one larger, violent animal.

Cobra Behavior

Cobra with hood raised
Cobra with hood raised by Anil Sharma

The Solitary Nature of Cobras

Now turning our attention to the Cobra’s social behavior. Unlike the social Meerkats, Cobras are elusive, solitary creatures. However, don’t let their solitary nature fool you. The Cobra’s stealth and venomous strikes make them formidable predators – making them a danger to anyone who dares cross them! 

Hunting Behavior and Venom Use in Cobras

Cobras are diurnal animals, meaning they are mostly active during the daytime – allowing their prey some ease of mind during the night. The bite of these skilled hunters transmits a quick-acting, deadly neurotoxic venom that incapacitates their prey.  

Defensive Posture and Threat Display in Cobras

When the stealthy Cobra feels threatened, they face danger raising their heads from the ground and spreading their ribs into a broad hood while hissing. Sending a terrifying warning to their potential threat. Although deadly, these powerful creatures prefer not to use their venom unless they have no other choice. So, their warning should not be taken lightly!

Final Weigh-in on a Meerkat Mob vs a Cobra

Meerkat family
Meerkat family by Bernd Hildebrandt

After learning more about these animals (and watching that video), we will surely side with the mob Meerkats in a fight against a Cobra. These feisty, yet cute, creatures are well deserving of their collective mob status!

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