Question from Tonita:
hi my name is Tonita and i am doing a assingment on the digestive system of two animals and the hairy nosed wombat is one of them, it would really help me if you could send me some diagrams and some information on this if possible. thank you for your time =)
The Wombat Answers:
Before answering your question, we would like to apologize first because as of now we can’t provide you of a diagram of a hairy-nosed wombat’s digestive system.
Now, with your question here is our answer:
There are 2 species of hairy nose wombats: The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat and the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.
Whether it’s a hairy nosed or just a common wombat, all wombats have very slow metabolic rate or metabolism, and as a result they’re chubby animals. For all species of wombats the food that they eat passes through their digestive system for 8-14 days, which makes them extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the food that they eat.
The Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, mostly eats different kinds of grasses. Unlike other wombat specie that eat other kinds of plant matter. Some grass type that they eat are: tussock or spear. But during times of drought they dig out the dried out grasses and eat the roots instead. They eat or graze for 2-6 hours every night, chewing very slowly.
The Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, which is the smallest among the wombat species commonly eats, grasses, juicy plant stems, tree barks, herbs or also at times small fungi like mushrooms. This wombat specie has an extraordinarily slow metabolism compared to it’s other relatives. They eat for 4-6 hours every night moving from patches of grasses or plants to another.
The main reason why the wombat’s metabolism is very slow is because it doesn’t eat very nutritious type of food. In short, it has a very poor diet which is low in protein and very high in fiber. Because of this they have to conserve and be more conscious of their energy consumption. By digesting their food for 8-14 days, they’re able to squeeze out all the nutrients that they can get from the food that they eat, for them to be able to survive the poor diet that they have. Plus wombat don’t drink lots of water, the water they drink is mostly dew drops from the grasses and leaves that they eat, this goes for hairy wombats because common wombats love to drink water.
We hope that this answered your question, and in the future we’ll post some wombat’s digestive diagrams here at wombats.info. So keep on checking it out.