Wombat

SPECIES: Vombatus ursinus

Common Wombats are a short, robust marsupial native to south-east Australia and Tasmania. They can grow to an average length of 90-120cm, and can weigh anywhere from 20-39kgs. They have course brown fur, small slightly pointed ears and a round black nose. The toes on their front feet all face forwards to aid in digging, and the claws on the back toes are long to aid in digging and grooming. Due to their natural digging behaviours, wombats have developed a backward-facing pouch, to avoid dirt flying into it. Common Wombats have a hard, cartilaginous plate in their lower back and rump, which they use for protection against predators. The Common Wombat has a lifespan of 15-20 years in captivity, and 10-15 years in the wild.

Diet

Common Wombats are a herbivorous species, feeding on grass, roots and leaves.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Common Wombats are a solitary animal, coming together only for breeding, which can occur almost any time of year. Usually one joey is born, approximately 30 days after mating occurs. As with all marsupials, Common Wombats are a marsupial, and joeys will develop in the female’s pouch. Common Wombat joeys usually remain in the pouch for the first 8-10 months of development, and then spend the next 10-12 months developing out of the pouch, but remaining with their mother. Joeys will feed on milk from the pouch until the age of 12-15 months, at which time it will feed completely on solid foods.

ANIMAL FACTS

Wombat

GROUP NAME

Wisdon

Native To

SIZE

90-120cm long and 20-39kgs

BABY NAME

Joey

Habitat

Common wombats can be found in wet and dry sclerophyll forests, as well as alpine, woodland and heathland environments and coastal scrub.  Common Wombats dig burrow systems known as warrens. One warren can consist of numerous burrows or entrances, and each burrow main contain a bedding chamber lines with leaves. One burrow can be as long as 20 meters.

Did You Know?

Wombats will head first into their burrow when being chased by predators, and stick their bottom up so the predator can only attack the hard plate in their back. They will flick their bottom from side to side to deter the predator and even hit it in the face.

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