What do meerkat calls have to do with the evolution of human language? How do you observe meerkats up close without causing them to change their natural behaviour? And what is everyday research like at 45°C in the Kalahari Desert?

It is possible to get close enough to meerkat groups to observe the social communication interactions of the individuals, in detail. To ensure that the natural behaviour of the meerkats is not disturbed, researchers take up to one and a half years to get them used to the presence of observers. For over 25 years, more than 400 researchers have studied meerkats and other species at the Kalahari Research Centre (KRC). Huge amounts of data are collected with tablets and are used by researchers worldwide. In this way, the KRC provides access to unique individual-based, long-term data for a wide range of disciplines. Marta Manser, the head of the KRC, who also heads the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies of the MNF at the University of Zurich, introduces to you with texts and pictures the insightful research of meerkat communities at Irchel and in the Kalahari Desert. She also shows how you too can add your support.

Exibition Meerkats