Well waaaaah-waaaaah, you big baby. At least you don't have to BREASTFEED YOUR LANDLORD'S CHILDREN! Yeah. Think about that for a second, and then be glad you're a human and not a meerkat so you can pay rent with your checkbook instead of your nipples. Because it turns out some female meerkats pay rent, meerkat researchers say, and they don't have checkbooks:
The idea of subordinate females "paying rent" was based on data gathered from research carried out between 1996 and 2011, during which time scientists observed the behaviour of 40 groups of meerkats.
Because most wet-nursing occurred underground in a group's burrows, females were identified as producing milk through the presence of suckle marks and sand being stuck to damp nipples.
"Just the sheer volume of data available to me meant that I could look at a lot of different things and fairly definitively make these assumptions, even if it is just short of saying that this is definitely what is happening," Ms Macleod explained...
"Wet-nursing by formerly evicted meerkats may be a way of 'paying rent' to be allowed back into the group without receiving further aggression," Ms Macleod observed.
She added that researchers had long known about this "allolactation" behaviour among meerkats, with it occurring in almost half of the litters.
But, she observed: "In a number of cases, it looks as if they are doing it when they are not pregnant themselves. Physiologically speaking, that is quite a big jump in terms of co-operative behaviour."
Three things: (1) Ugh, "sandy nipples" is a horrible problem to have. But it also sounds like a great meerkat stripper name. (2) I've been watching a lot of nature documentaries lately, and I just saw a chimpanzee learn how to "share." I like that cooperative behavior better than "breastfeed my kids or I'll evict you." (3) I know, I know! "Stop anthropomorphizing, you scientifically illiterate tool!" I hear you. But still! Meerkats pay rent! Holy shit!