Facts about Wombat

We found 14 facts about Common wombat

An animal that excretes cubes

The wombat is a herbivorous mammal found naturally in southeastern Australia. It is the only marsupial whose teeth are constantly growing, and its feces are a worldwide rarity, as they look like small cubes.

Wombats are a family of mammals in the Diprotodontia order, probably closely related to koalas.
The wombats include two contemporaneous genera.
  • Vombatus, whose only representative is the common wombat;
  • Lasiorhinus, containing two species: northern hairy-nosed wombat, also called yaminon, and southern hairy-nosed wombat.
The common wombat inhabits an area of Australia from the borders of Queensland and New South Wales, along with the deserts of Victoria, to the southeastern tip of Australia and into Tasmania.
Its three subspecies are:
  • Bass Strait wombat, found on Flinders Island, in Bass Strait Islands (between Australia and Tasmania);
  • Hirsute wombat, found in the southeastern part of mainland Australia;
  • Tasmanian wombat, found in Tasmania.
The wombat resembles a badger in appearance, with a uniform gray coat.
Australian scientists have viewed wombats under ultraviolet light and found that their fur shimmers in shades of green, blue, and pink under a black-light lamp. When ultraviolet light falls on their fur in the dark, the marsupials and the steak look like they have been painted with "glowing" paints. In recent years, it has been found that biological fluorescence is more common among mammals than previously thought (i.e., flying squirrels under UV light have pink fur). Its significance is yet unknown, but scientists speculate it may be related to their nocturnal lifestyle.
Wombats are muscular animals with short legs.
Fully grown, they reach 90 up to 130 cm and weigh between 22 and 40 kg. Wombats have a thick, broad head and a vestigial tail. The wombat's large head contains small eyes. Its eyesight is poor, while its senses of smell, hearing and sensing vibrations are well developed. Their dentition lacks tusks. Wombats are torpid and have a nesting pouch that, unlike kangaroos, opens backward - the young enter the pouch from the mother's rump. It protects the young from being buried in the ground when digging burrows. There are two nipples in the bag.
They are herbivorous animals.
They have a digestive system adapted to eating thorny vegetation: a simple stomach, a wide short cecum, and prolonged metabolism. It takes 14 days to complete the digestive cycle, so wombats are not very mobile. They absorb water from digested plants and therefore are capable of not drinking for several weeks.
Wombats usually feed at night.
They are the only marsupials in the world whose teeth are constantly growing, as they are worn down regularly. The wombat chews its food with quick movements of its lower jaw. Its dentition differs from that of other marsupials, resembling more closely the teeth of rodents. The key component of their diet is native grasses. They also eat roots, bark, and leaves of trees and shrubs.
They reach sexual maturity at 18 months of age.
The mating season lasts from April to June. After a gestation period of 20-30 days, one young is born, which remains in the nesting bag for six to seven months, and even after that, it does not leave it for another three to four months. The young are weaned around 15 months. After leaving the pouch, the cub clings to its mother until it is covered in fur. Full independence usually begins at 18 months of age.
Wombats are a solitary, territorial species, with each individual having a fixed range in which it lives and feeds.
They dig a burrow system with multiple exits in the ground or under limestone rocks. Burrows are dug with their front paws equipped with long and sharp claws. The length of the passages can reach up to 20 meters. Recent fires in eastern and southeastern Australia have shown that burrows are often much longer than initially thought. Some have more than 20 entrances, and many wombats' burrows were used by other species, including rock wallaby and swamp wallaby, to shelter from the fire. Whether this was done with the consent of the burrow's "owner" is not known.
Wombats usually live in one burrow for their entire lives. Many wombats can live in the same burrow together.
It is caused by throwing out wombats from their burrow by animals or farmers or when a burrow is destroyed. Wombats often emerge from their burrows in the early morning, late afternoon, or during a cooler day. Their preferable habitat comprises dry, open areas.
Wombats' lifespan is an average of 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
The species is not in danger of extinction, except in the Victoria region. Nevertheless, hunting of these animals has been restricted.
Wombats are the only species in the world that defecates in the form of cubes.
Many theories have arisen as to what purpose this serves. Some claim that this allows wombats to mark terrain more efficiently - the cubic feces will not roll off a sloping stone. Another theory is that this is because of a little water in their diet, as they live in arid conditions. This theory is confirmed by the fact that wombats living in captivity in zoos, where they have access to more water, excrete more spherical feces. However, scientists' research has shown that wombats have a specific large intestine, especially the first section of the intestine, which has a flattened upper and lower wall, forming feces into a cube. The second, final section of the intestine remains smooth and maintains the shape formed earlier.
Yaminon is the rarest of wombats, currently restricted to Epping Forest in Queensland.
Its wild population is critically endangered, with approximately 315 left.
Southern hairy-nosed wombat is the smallest of the genera.
Its length ranges from 75 to 93 centimeters.
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