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.
As we all know by now, there are 3 species of Wombats. Among these 3 species, 2 of them are hairy-nosed varieties. They are Northern Hairy-nosed wombat also known as Yaminon and the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat. They are called Hairy-nosed because they have hairy-noses.
The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is found across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The Yaminon is one of the rarest large mammal in the world and is now classified to be critically endangered. The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is slightly larger than the Common Wombat. The reason why it’s critically endangered now is because it’s habitat has become infested with African Buffel grass which out-competes the native grasses that this hairy-nosed wombat prefers eating. Their noses are very important for their daily survival because they have very poor eyesight, they can only smell their food in the dark.
The name Northern Hairy-nosed wombat comes from it’s distinctive muzzle which is covered with short brown hairs. As a result this specie, have a hairy-nose.
Hairy Nosed Wombat
The second hairy-nosed wombat is the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat. This specie is the smallest among the other wombat species at around 775-935 mm and weighs 20-32 kg, because of these physical traits the young often do not survive the dry season. It is well-adapted to it’s harsh environment where it must survive without water in high temperatures. This specie lives in extensive warrens where the atmosphere is cool and humid during daytime. It’s body temperature falls to conserve both energy and water.
The Southern Hairy-nosed wombat is often likened to a large badger, it is also considered to resemble a bear and a pig. The fur of this wombat covers it’s entire body, including the nose, hence it’s name.