When it’s time for the twice-daily weigh in, the meerkats co-operate fully, lured by a few drops of water, a precious resource in their desert home. While working with the Kalahari Meerkat Project, Jennifer wanted to show the other side of academic research and ‘what it’s like to interact closely with these fascinating and beautiful animals’.
Researchers studying the evolution of social behaviour had to get the meerkats used to being around people so they could gather essential data. Meerkats’ sophisticated social organisation, where only one pair in the group breed and the others help bring up the young, is teaching us more about co-operation in other mammal species.
Canon EOS Rebel T2i; Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 lens at 10mm; 1/60 sec at f16; ISO 800.
Kalahari Desert, South Africa
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Jennifer Guyton, Germany/USA
Jen is an ecologist and photographer with a passion for wildlife conservation and communication. She spends much of the year working in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. She is a National Geographic Young Explorer and has a master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, where she is also pursuing her PhD.