Although meerkats are basically diurnal, their activity is controlled largely by the soil temperature. Meerkats are only active when the sun is present and warms the surface of their burrows. When the weather is overcast or raining, they usually stay within their burrow. Similarly if temperatures are too high, meerkats will return to the burrow to stay cool.
Meerkats are quite ferocious predators and using their keen sense of smell, they will hunt down and kill any number of prey items. Their diet includes spiders, snakes, scorpions, mice, rats, eggs, lizards, and birds. They have no trouble in removing the venom from snakes or scorpions before devouring them. Older meerkats will often share food with juveniles. They get all the moisture they need from the insects and grubs they eat. Meerkats do not have stores of excess body fat, so foraging for food is a daily need.