Begging Behaviour

Most empirical work on begging behaviour has been conducted on altricial birds, where young are fed at a nest. In contrast, meerkat pups are mobile and join providers foraging, and are able to solicit food from potential feeders by using different begging calls.

Therefore begging behaviour may have been shaped by constraints other than those found in stationary feeding systems. In a first step, we examined the signal value and the functions of the different call types.

We investigated begging behaviour in the cooperative breeding meerkat (Suricata suricatta), working with well habituated groups of meerkats in the Kalahari, South Africa.