Marsupials are the dominant group of animals that are found in Australia, although some species may also be found in North and South America as well as in New Guinea. About 334 species of marsupials are known to exist out of which 200 are native to Australia.
What do Wombats eat?
Wombats are herbivorous animals and they mainly eat grasses, roots, herbs and barks. Their metabolism rate is very slow, about 14 days. Since they take a long time to digest their food Wombats can survive in arid conditions too.
Digestive system of Wombats:
Wombats have a very slow metabolism rate as their diet is rich in fiber but low in protein. Thus they have a poor diet and need to conserve their energy .Digesting the food for a long time allows them to absorb all the nutrients from their food. Also the hairy Wombats do not drink much water and the water they drink mainly comes from their food itself.
Where do Wombats stay?
Wombats live in burrows. They are very shy animals who sleep for about 18 hours in the day and venture out only in the evening or night. This fact also makes them difficult animals to study. Wombat faeces called scats have a unique smell and the Wombats keep these scats purposely outside their burrows in order to facilitate easy identification of burrows.
Can Wombats be tamed?
Although naturally wild, Wombats can be tamed. You might even persuade it to be held and touched. In fact many zoos in Australia have put these Wombats on public display. Seemingly calm and gentle Wombats can become very aggressive if provoked or if they are in a bad mood. Due to their weight they are perfectly capable of knocking over an average adult human being.
A Few FACTS about Wombats
Small yet powerful creatures
Wombats use their claws to dig burrows in open grasslands and eucalyptus forests. They live in these burrows, which can become extensive tunnel-and-chamber complexes.
Common wombats are solitary and inhabit their own burrows, while other species may be more social and live together in larger burrow groups called colonies.
Wombats are nocturnal and emerge to feed at night on grasses, roots, and bark. They have rodent like incisors that never stop growing and are gnawed down on some of their tougher vegetarian fare.
Why they are endangered?
The field and pasture damage caused by wombat burrowing can be a destructive nuisance to ranchers and farmers.
Wombats have been hunted for this behaviour, as well as for their fur and simply for sport. Some species (the northern hairy-nosed wombats) are now critically endangered, while others (the common or coarse-haired wombat) are still hunted as vermin.
Space for all wombats is at a premium as farm and ranch lands increasingly replace natural space.
Some cool facts about wombats are as follows:
The average wombat is about 1 meter (40 inches) long and weighs about 25 kg.
Wombats can live from about 5 years to over 30 years.
Wombats can be anything from a sandy colour to brown or black to grey.
They live in large burrows up to 30 meters (100 feet) long.
They eat mainly grasses and roots and are nocturnal grazers.
Wombats.info is a site dedicated and made for the Australian marsupial -The Wombat. Before going any further, I’ll give you a brief description about Wombats, what they are and what they do.
Wombats are marsupials that are native to Australia. They are furry, chubby, nocturnal, naturally wild, but can also be gentle.
Some of you may think, “Why wombats?”, “Why create a site dedicated for these creatures?”. And yes, I’ve thought of that too. There are so much about these creatures than what meets the eye. They are indeed very cute, but not just only that. That’s why I’ve created this site. So that people will have a concrete idea about what they really are and really know what wombats are.
Wombats are very cute animals, without knowing them very well, a person who see them for the first time, will blurt out, “Oh, I want one.” Because they are simply adorable. And with that questions in people’s head includes, “Where can I buy one?, Are they wild?, Can they be domesticated and house broken?” All of your wombat questions, can be answered here.
In this site- Wombats.info, we offer different stuff that has anything to do with wombats. Wombats.info has informative articles all about this marsupial, we also have wombat stories to slightly depict how wombats think in the human way. One unique thing about this site, is that we have a “Diary of A Wombat” section. The “Diary of A Wombat” section features different diary entries from wombats with different statuses and or age. To give people an idea, how a young or old wombat spends his/her day.
We have various wombat merchandise, like shirts for all ages, mousepad, wombat books and of course a wombat plushie and a whole lot of other wombat products, coming soon.
So be sure to check Wombats.info for new articles, stories and products.
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What are Wombats??
Wombats are Australian marsupials.
Marsupials are a type of mammals, who have pouches and their babies or youngs live in their mothers pouches for a specific amount of time drinking their mothers milk in the pouch.
Other marsupial animals are kangaroos, bandicoots and opossums to name a few.
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds (4-legged animals), approximately 1 meter (39 inches) in length with a very short tail.
Wombats are found in forested, mountainous areas of South-Eastern Australia and Tasmania. The name wombat came from the Eora Aboriginal community who were the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.
Characteristics of Wombats:
– Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with their rodent-like front teeth and powerful claws they live alone in their burrows but other wombats may be in tunnels close by or sometimes burrows can interconnect. Also wombats tell other wombats if a burrow is occupied or not.
– Like the Koala Bear, which is also a marsupial. The Wombat also has a backwards-facing pouch. One major advantage of a backwards-facing pouch for a Wombat is that when digging, the Wombat does not gather dirt in it’s pouch over it’s young. Or while digging, the mother Wombat won’t cover her baby with dirt or sand.
– Although mainly crepuscular and naturally nocturnal, wombats will also venture out to feed on cool or overcast days.
– They are not commonly seen, but they leave ample evidence of their passage, they treat fences as minor inconveniences to be gone through. That’s why farmers consider wombats to be pests. Because they damage crops and fences and cattle may also break their legs when they accidentally step on wombat burrows. Their burrows also provide shelter for rabbits which also damage crops. For these reasons, farmers are more than willing to get rid of wombats in their farms.
-Wombats are herbivores. Their daily diet consists of grasses, sedges, herbs, tree barks and roots and soft mosses.
– Wombats’ incisor teeth resemble of the placental rodents, they’re adapted for gnawing vegetation. Like other herbivorous mammals, they have a large diastema between the incisors and the cheek teeth which are simple.
– Wombats have thick, soft fur. Their fur color varies from a sandy color to brown or from gray to black.
– All three known wombat species sizes ranges around 1 meter in length and between 20-35 kilogram in weight. An adult common wombat weighs 20-40 kilogram. Head and body measures 100 cm and the tail is 2.5 cm long.
– Female wombats give birth to a single joey usually around spring time, after a gestation period. The gestation period varies, like with any other mammal. For the female wombat it’s 28-33 days. The joey then leaves the mother’s pouch after approximately 6-10 months (depends on the wombat specie). Newborn wombats are almost only bean-sized and only weigh 1 gram.
– Wombats that are just newly born, drag their selves into the backwards-facing mother wombat’s pouch. The newborn wombat then, attaches itself to a nipple and stays there for a couple of months. Young wombats are trained after 15 months and are sexually mature at 18 months of age. The time spent with the mother wombat actually depends on the sexuality of the offspring or the young wombat. Male wombats are ostracized much earlier than a female wombat.
Wombats Australian Marsupials
Behavior and Ecology of Wombats
– Wombats have a very very slow metabolism almost extraordinarily slow. It takes around 14 days to complete digestion, which works to their advantage for their survival in arid conditions. Plus resting in their burrows makes their metabolism slower. It slows down up to 60-70% of its normal digestion rate.
– Wombats in general move slowly and for this reason they are known for taking shortcuts, but when they are threatened they can reach up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) and they can maintain that speed for up to a minute and 30 seconds.
– A wombat can run at 40 km/h for a short distance.
– Wombats defend their home territories which are centered in their burrows; they also react aggressively to intruders.
– Wombats occupy a range of up to 57 acres, while the hairy-nosed species have much smaller ranges of no more than 9.9 acres.
– Dingoes and Tasmanian Devils prey on wombats.
– The wombat’s primary defense is its toughened rear hide with most of its posterior is made out of cartilage. And also their strong legs and claws are good for digging burrows to live in and also for defending their selves.
– A wombats tail is an unmeaningful one. Because of this, it’s difficult for any predator that follows a wombat into its tunnel/burrow to bite and injure its target, because a wombat’s tail is quite short only 2.5 cm long sometimes even shorter.
– When a wombat is attacked, it dives into a nearby tunnel, using their rump (behind) to block a pursuing predator or an attacker. There are also times where in a wombat allows an intruder to force its head over their back and then, they use their powerful legs to crush the head mainly the skull of the intruder against the roof of the burrow or drive it off with 2 legged donkey kicks. They do this by kicking both of their hind feet at the same time. Also they specially do this when they are grasped on the back.
– Humans who accidentally find themselves in an affray or a close encounter with a wombat, it is best for the human to scale a tree or hide behind a tree and wait until the wombat calms down and leave.
– An attacked human can receive puncture wounds from wombat claws and as well as bites.
– Wombats are very shy animals. Most of the day they sleep in their burrows. And in the evening or night they go out to look for food making them nocturnal animals.
– Although wombats look very cute and adorable, they can be extremely aggressive, dangerous and threatening. When startled they can charge humans and bowl them over with the risks of broken bones from the fall.
– Wombats have a relatively large brain compared to other Australian marsupials. This combined with strong instincts upon maturity, allows a captive hand/human raised wombat to be easily released to the wild.
– Wombats have their own way or method in keeping theirselves clean. They give theirselves dust baths. They do this by laying on their side and scoop sand/dust over their bodies.
– Wombats’ teeth grow continuously. That’s why they don’t hesitate to gnaw or chew on anything. Because if they break a tooth/teeth, it’ll just grow back.
– Before being protected by law, the wombat’s fur was often hunted for its value.
– Wombat droppings are called scats. Each scat has a different and distinct smell. They purposely leave their scats outside their burrows’ opening, because it helps a wombat find its own burrow when it goes back after a busy night of looking for food.
– The average life-span of a wombat is up to or around 30 years.