Scientific Name: Vombatus Ursinus
Size: 1-1.2m (39-47in)
Weight: 20-35kg (44-77lbs)
Top Speed: 40km/h (25mph)
Life Span: 20-26 years
Group name: Mob or Colony
What does a wombat look like?
This large, pudgy mammal is a marsupial, or pouched animal. Like other marsupials, wombats give birth to tiny, undeveloped young that crawl into pouches on their mothers' bellies. A wombat baby remains in its mother's pouch for about five months before emerging. Even after it leaves the pouch, the young animal will frequently crawl back in to nurse or to escape danger. By about seven months of age, a young wombat can care for itself.
Where do wombats live?
Common wombats live in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. They prefer heath, coastal scrub and open forest habitats, where the soil tends to be loose and easy to dig. Wombats love to burrow. They are, in fact, the world's largest burrowing mammals. With broad, flattened heads, compact bodies, short, powerful limbs and wide, large-clawed feet, digging is a cinch for the common wombat.
What does a wombat eat?
The common wombat is a nocturnal herbivore and gets to about 26 years old in the wild although some wombat individuals have been known to live for longer in captivity. Wombats eats grasses, shoots and bark which the wombat needs to keep gnawing on in order to keep it's continuously growing teeth at a manageable size.
What are the natural enemies of the wombat?
Wombats have a few natural predators including foxes and dingos. Although the wombat is relatively defenceless when it is out and about, wombats are generally well protected in their underground burrows as many predators cannot follow the wombat into the narrow, complex tunnels.
Did you know this about wombats?
Once it enters its burrow, the wombat is virtually safe from any predators. It lacks a tail meaningful tail and most of its rump is made of cartilage, which makes it nearly impossible for a predator to bite it from behind.
The southern hairy-nosed wombat lives in a semi-arid environment. Its young do not survive when there's no rainfall, and it takes three years for one to reach maturity.
The northern hairy-nosed wombat is one of the rarest large mammals in the world. Its habitat has been reduced to a 3-square-kilometer patch of protected land.
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