Also known as the coarse-haired wombat, the common wombat is the largest burrowing mammal and the second largest marsupial averaging cm in. Its solitary, nocturnal nature makes the wombat a rare sight for people in the wild. Resembling a small bear, the common wombat has coarse, bristle-like fur that ranges in color from sandy hues to darker browns and blacks. Preferring wet, forested areas with slopes for good burrow drainage , common wombats inhabit the southeastern coastal regions of Australia, including eastern New South Wales, eastern and southern Victoria, southeastern South Australia, and the whole of Tasmania. Wombats are territorial animals. They mark their home range by grunting at intruders, rubbing their scent on trees, and scattering cube-shaped droppings. The unique shape of their dung helps keep the markings in place around their territory. With a tough barrel-like body, short powerful legs, and long flat claws, the wombat walks with a shuffling gait but is extremely adept at tunneling. A common wombat may have up to twelve burrows in its home range with three to four main burrows.
5 things you probably didn't know about wombats
As we face the ongoing challenges of COVID, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for countless animals and plants that depend on us each and every day. Your continued support is critical to the wildlife in our care and vital to endangered species worldwide. What's a wombat? Wombats are one of the oddest-looking animals you'll ever see! Native to Australia, the comical animals look like short, stocky bears.
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Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae. Though genetic studies of the Vombatidae have been undertaken, evolution of the family is not well understood. Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with their rodent-like front teeth and powerful claws. One distinctive adaptation of wombats is their backward pouch. The advantage of a backward-facing pouch is that when digging, the wombat does not gather soil in its pouch over its young. Although mainly crepuscular and nocturnal , wombats may also venture out to feed on cool or overcast days. They are not commonly seen, but leave ample evidence of their passage, treating fences as minor inconveniences to be gone through or under, and leaving distinctive cubic feces. The method by which the wombat produces them is not well understood, but it is believed that the wombat intestine stretches preferentially at the walls. Wombats are herbivores ; their diets consist mostly of grasses , sedges , herbs , bark , and roots.
To celebrate these short-legged, fur-barrelled Aussie marsupials, we've put together some fun facts that you probably didn't know about them. Test your knowledge below to find out. Wombat scat is cube-shaped. They act as territorial markers and in attracting a mate! The cube-shape means that their poop won't roll away and can stay put in precarious locations. They also have super-tough butts you'd have to have a tough one in order to push out a cube A wombat can live up to 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity. They're very solitary marsupials that can only be found right here in Australia.