Wombats are marsupials that are predominantly found in Australia. These are short, bear-like, furry and chubby creature having teeth like placental rodents which can be regrown if broken due to chewing of tough vegetation. These are crepuscular or nocturnal creatures and they are active either at twilight or at night. They mostly remain in their burrows as they cannot tolerate high temperatures and can even die due to excessive heat. There are three living species of Wombats and I shall tell you something about them.
Species of Wombats:
The living species of Wombats are as follows:
Queensland or Northern hairy-nosed Wombat
Southern hairy-nosed Wombat
What is the Common Wombat?
The Common Wombat which is also called the Coarse-haired Wombat has an average size of 98cm and a weight of 26kgs. It is found mainly in the eastern and southern parts of Australia which are comparatively cooler and more watered parts. The Common Wombat weighs about 20-40 kilograms and its head and body measure up to 100cm. It can breed every two years.
What is the Northern hairy-nosed Wombat?
The Northern hairy-nosed Wombat, also called the Yaminon, is found mainly in South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and is a critically endangered species. These are slightly larger than the Common Wombat and can give birth to two joeys every two years. Their nose is of critical importance to them as they are poor-sighted and need to smell their food in the dark.
What is the Southern hairy-nosed Wombat?
These are the smallest Wombats found mainly in the dry grasslands in the Southern part of Australia. It is enlisted as a vulnerable species and it is believed that scanty rainfall is the cause of unsuccessful breeding of this species.
The world has classified wombats into different species, among them; the two basic types of classifications of Wombats are Hairy – nosed wombats and common wombats. This article will increase your knowledge about common wombats.
Description About common Wombats:
Common wombats are known by various names like Coarse haired wombat, Forest wombat, Naked Nose Wombat etc. Common wombats are usually found in the southern regions of Australia and Tasmania where the temperature is cooler and the terrain is hilly and mountainous.
Common Wombats are:
35 to 45 inches in length.
About 14 inches in height.
Of 48 to 86 pounds. Their weight depends on how big or small wombat is.
Their heads are in a more rounded shape than the hairy-nosed wombats.
Their face is marked by a bare, shiny black nose with granular skin and small rounded and triangular shaped ears. They have coarse, thick and bristle-like fur.
Their fur is longer than other wombats which suit the colder and wetter climate in which they live.
They usually have sandy or yellowish color but their colour may also be brown or black, depending on the colour of the dirt they dig.
The population density of common wombats in favourable conditions ranges from 0.3 to 0.5 per hectare.
They may form colonies and visit each others tunnels. Being territorial, they have a feature to mark their home range and to reach there by smelling it. Common wombats are usually at risk because they are unprotected therefore steps should be taken to protect them.
The Different Species of Wombats
The extremely cute and adorable wombats are found in Australia. This large, pudgy mammal is a marsupial, or pouched animal also usually found on nearby scattered islands.
Claws and Tooth
Wombats have long claws that are adapted for digging, and they live in burrows, from which they emerge at night to feed on grasses and other plants.
The teeth of wombats are of continuous growth, and, a single pair of chisel like incisors is found in each jaw.
There are three species of Wombats (all only found in Australia):
The common –
It is distinguishably from its cousins the Southern, and Northern Hairy nosed wombats mainly by its nose which is naked, smaller ears and a more rounded head and longer fur due to its living in the colder regions of Australia.
These are strong, stout, sturdy and can move most things in their way. Adult wombats weigh in between 17kg and 40kg in a body length of between 80 cm and 130 cm with the males being a bit larger than the females.
Northern Hairy Nosed –
It is Australia’s most endangered mammal and is found in New South Wales and Victoria.
However it now survives only in a small national park near the Epping Forest Station in tropical Queensland.
This wombat grows up to a height of 80 to 100 centimetres and its tail is 3 to 5 centimetres in length. They weigh up to 50 kilos, the female counterparts being heavier than the male one.
Southern Hairy Nosed-
This wombat is South Australia’s state emblem. Its main difference in looks to the common wombat is that it has a broader nose is covered in fine hairs, which is smaller, has larger more pointy ears and its grey fur is silkier to the touch.
These wombats are found in locations which are generally semi arid to arid, and include grass plains, as well as savannas, coastal dunes and/or small scattered shrubs.
The Common Wombat is also known as the “Coarse-Haired” Wombat. It is one of the three species of wombats and the only one in the Vombatus genus.
The common wombat is widespread in the cooler and better watered parts of Southern and Eastern Australia, including Tasmania and in the mountainous districts as far as the North and South of Queensland, but its appearance declines in Western Victoria.
A Common Wombat in the Wild near Queanbeyan N.S.W. (Australia)
The Common Wombat can breed every 2 years and can produce a single joey (young) which leaves the backward facing pouch after 9-11 months. They weigh between 3.5-6.5 kilograms. The joey is weaned and trained at around 12-15 months of age and is independent by 18 months of age.
The Bass Strait sub-specie or the Vombatus ursinus ursinus is only found in Flinders Island, which is located in the North of Tasmania.
Common Wombat, population was estimated to be 4,000 in 1996 and is now listed to be vulnerable.