Wombats


big head

 

Wombats are marsupials from Australia. They resemble small bears in appearance, with a thick and heavy body. They can be buff, grey, dark brown or black. With those big noses, round furry heads and bodies and round eyes they appear a bit like land koalas, except for the smaller ears, serious claws and more varied coloration. They are shy, timid and hide from sight in the wild. They do well in captivity and often become interesting and affectionate pets.

 

large light

Wombats live in burrows and are rapid, powerful diggers. They may construct a burrow longer than 30 meters. At the end of the burrow they make a grass or bark nest. Since they are such diggers nature has gifted the female wombats with rear-facing marsupial pouches so that mothers can dig to their hearts delight without having to worry about getting dirt in their pouch and messing up things with the little joey (baby marsupial) in there. At the end of a good dig, sometimes everybody likes to come out from their burrows and tunnels and wombats are no different, they do come out on occasion to bathe in the sun. But since the heat of the day in Australia can be pretty intense hanging around in burrows can be a lot cooler and more comfortable for a furry marsupial. That is why they are not seen very often, and prefer the dawn, dusk and night to go foraging.

There are three different types of species: the coarse-haired (common), the Northern and the Southern hairy-nosed (sometimes called the soft-furred wombat). They are for the most part solitary but they may have smallish social groups consisting of 5-10 wombats in the nearby area. The numbers of wombats in the wild are very low and some species are endangered. This is due to the land use practices of people who have destroyed the wombat's habitat by cattle farming or trying to exterminating rabbits.

coarse haired common

southern hairy nosed

northern hairy nosed

If annoyed, a wombat may emit a hissing growl. They may live up to 26 years or more but in the wild they usually live much shorter lives. Their preferred edibles are mainly grasses, roots, bark and fungi.

 

 

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