Wombats are short-legged marsupials that belong to the Vombatidae family who is native to Australia. The primary habitat of the wombat is the temperate forest, which is the covered area of southeastern Australia.
Size and Weight of a Wombat:
The size of a wombat is about 30 inches in length; a common wombat weighs 55 to 88 pounds, whereas the hairy-nosed wombat weighs 42 to 71 pounds.
Wombats are short barrel-shaped animals with a broad head and small eyes with poor eyesight. They have a short but powerful neck, shoulder, and a tiny tail that is covered with fur. The body of a wombat is covered with a harsh coat that varies in color from dark grey, silver grey, glossy black, chocolate brown, grey-brown, sandy, and cream.
The teeth of the wombat are similar to that of a rodents; wombats have 24 rootless tooth that never stops growing. The plants consumed by wombats are high in silica, which is caustic for their teeth. Wombats have a pair of large incisors in both upper and lower jaws. There is a wide gap between the incisors and premolars, and they have no canines. Wombats chew its food as similar to the way of a rodent.
Different Types of Wombat:
Wombats can be classified into three different types:
Common wombat is also known by the name bare-nosed wombat, but scientifically, it is called Vombatus Ursinus. Common wombat is the second-largest marsupial in length. These species have a hairless nose, round head, small ears. The furs of these species are coarse that range in dark brown and black color. Common wombats inhabit the coastal regions of Australia, which includes New South Wales, eastern and western Victoria, southeastern Australia, and whole Tasmania.
With the help of their healthy feet and large claws, common wombats dig up to 12 tunnels in its home range. The central hole of a wombat includes a network of sub tunnels for entrance and sleeping cottage. The diet of a common wombat consists of herbivorous plants, grasses, and plant roots. Every two years, common wombats breeds and produces a single joey after the gestation of 20 to 30 days. The young will remain in the pouch of the mother wombat for five months.
Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat:
Scientifically known as Lasiorhinus Latifrons, the southern hairy-nosed wombat is a charming marsupial with a large nose, small and bright eyes. These species are found in south-central Australia, they prefer to habitat in the open plains, shrub lands, grasslands and open woodlands. Southern hairy-nosed wombats can dig a burrow at a depth of 2 meters. These species spent their day time in their holes and came out to feed at night. Both the male and female southern hairy-nosed wombats have multiple mates, and they breed during September and December. The young joey will be delivered after the gestation of 21 days. After one year, the minor is completely weaned.
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat:
Scientifically known as Lasiorhinus Krefftii, the north hairy-nosed combat has a sturdy body with a short tail and short and stable legs. The short and brown colored fur on its muzzle distinguishes it with the other species of wombats. The population of these species is restricted to the Epping Forest National Park, which is located in Central Queensland. They prefer to inherit in the semi-arid sandy grasslands. Northern hairy-nosed wombats are solitary animals and are known to build warrens – a large and complex tunnel system burrowed in the sand. These species mate during the months of summer and spring, and the young one is born in November and March. The baby wombat will remain in its mother’s pouch for 6 to 9 months.
Interesting Facts About Wombats:
- Wombats have a backward-facing pouch.
- Wombats can run to 25 miles per hour.
- A group of wombats is called “wisdom.”
- Koalas are the close relatives of wombats.
- The rear end of a wombat has most cartilages, which make them immune to bites and scratches.
- It took two weeks to digest a meal of wombat, the special enzymes present in their stomach helps them to break the hard eats.
- Due to the distinct bones present in their backsides, wombats form their feces in cube shape, which they also use to mark their territory.
- The butt of a wombat is their primary defense form, the skin of wombat’s bottom is very thick, and it uses its rear to block the entrance of its burrow.
- The northern hairy-nosed wombat can only be found in the Epping Forest National Park; only 115 north hairy-nosed wombats are left.
- Under the Queensland state legislation, wombats are declared as endangered species.