Scientific name: Vombatus Ursinus
Conservation status: Dependent on Species
More about Wombats:
Are you looking for wombat facts? Did you know wombats weigh between 32-80 lbs (14-36 kg) and the Common Wombat (one of only 3 wombat species) is a mid-sized nocturnal marsupial that’s only found within Australia and its nearby islands? Wombats resemble a cross between a rodent and a small bear, can live up to 30 years in the wild, and range in color from light brown to dark grey/black.
Of the 3 species, populations of the Common Wombat, the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat are both stable, however, the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat is critically endangered.
Wombats are vegetarians (herbivores) with a diet that consists mainly of grasses, tree bark, and roots. Their sharp claws and long incisors are ideal for digging chewy tough plant matter and are useful when encountering conflict in the wild. However, they are just as inclined to defend themselves with their tough backside. Made of cartilage, a wombat’s behind is extremely difficult to scratch or bite, and is useful to sit on attackers and squash them to death.
Wombats live underground, within extensive burrow networks, including a vast series of tunnels, chambers, and entrances. Although primarily solitary mammals, it is common enough to find some wombats living among larger social communities, called colonies.
Although Common Wombats are a stable sub-species, urbanization and agriculture have pushed many wombat communities away from their more traditional territories. Farmers often complain of the damages caused by the presence of wombats, including digging, and crop damage and are hunting them for their localized impacts.
- A group of wombats is a called a ‘wisdom’.
- In the dinosaur era, they were once the size of a rhinoceros.
- They can reach short-burst speeds of up to 25 mph (40km/hr).
- Their excrement is shaped like a cube.
Quotes about Wombats:
“When you are about to die, a wombat is better than no company at all.” -Roger Zelazny
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