Henry the wombat

common nameconservation status
 Common Wombat Least Concern (LC)
scientific namesize
Vombatus ursinus♂♀ 840-1150 mm (33.1-45.3 in)
familyweigh
Vombatidae♂♀ 22-39 kg (48.5-86.0 lb)
orderlifespan
 Diprotodontia5 years approx. (Up to 30 in captivity)
class gestation period
Mammalia20-21 days
 population diet
 This species is common Grasses, sedges and roots.
habitatrange
They live in burrow systems in temperate forested areas, coastal scrub and heathland areas.Southeastern Australia, Tasmania and Flinders island.

Did you know...

1.

Wombats dig their burrows using their powerful claws and sharp rodent-like front teeth. They build large warrens of tunnels underground.

 

2.

Their mating habits are interesting. When the female is in heat, the male pursues her forming circles around her until she is tired. Then the male rolls her onto her side and mounts her. Then she tries to escape and the chasing behavior starts again during around 30 minutes.

 

3.

 As marsupials, females have a pouch where they protect their offspring until they are fully developed. In the case of the wombat, this period lasts 6 months, and the pouch entrance faces backwards rather than the female’s head, so they can keep digging during a large part of the day.

 

4.

 They have a very slow metabolism, it takes them around 14 days to complete digestion. This characteristic also makes them one of the marsupials that live the longest.

 

5.

Even though wombats are not an endangered species, they are included on the list of protected species in Australia with the other two subspecies of this animal (both critically endangered).

 

6.

Their primary predators are the Tasmanian devils, along with dingoes and eagles.

7.

A relative of the modern wombat, measuring up to 3 m (around 10 ft) and weighing two tons, was the largest marsupial in Earth’s history. It existed 40,000 years ago and its name was Diprotodon.

 

8.

Wombats are experts in destroying their own warrens in order to bury their predators when they try to reach them.

 

9.

Wombats don’t like the heat, so they are active during the night, but they can be seen in the day time if the sunlight is not too hot.

 

10.

Wombats feces are cube-shaped. Special bones and muscles around their excretory system allow them to squeeze and form them.

 

11.

Despite their thick body and short legs, these animals can, if needed, run faster than humans, reaching up speeds of 40 km/h (around 25 mph).

 

12.

The rear portion of their body is very hard, made of cartilage. When attacked, they block their burrow with their sturdy body, not letting the attacker get in.

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