are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular
quadrupeds, approximately 1 metre (39 in) in length with a tail that is a mere
nubbin. They are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of
south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of
about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park
in central Queensland. The name wombat
comes from the aborigines
that originally inhabited the Sydney area.
Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with rodent-like front teeth and
powerful claws. One distinctive adaptation of wombats is their backwards pouch.
The advantage of a backwards-facing pouch is that when digging, the wombat does
not gather dirt in its pouch over its young. Although mainly crepuscular and
nocturnal, wombats also venture out to feed on cool or overcast days. They are
not commonly seen, but leave ample evidence of their passage, treating fences as
minor inconveniences to be gone through or under, and leaving distinctive cubic
Wombats are herbivores; their diet consists mostly of grasses, sedges, herbs,
bark and roots. Their incisor teeth somewhat resemble those of the placental
rodents, being adapted for gnawing tough vegetation. Like many other herbivorous
mammals, they have a large diastema between the incisors and the cheek teeth,
which are relatively simple. The dental formula of wombats is
Comment "hi my name is daniel.w and i am doing a power point for
endangered species on the southern hairy nosed wombat and i got an A"
Have your say
Wombats' fur colour can vary from a sandy colour to brown, or from grey to
black. All three known extant species of wombats average around 1 m (39 in) in
length and weigh between 20 and 35 kg (44 and 77 lb).
Female wombats give birth to a single young in the spring, after a gestation
period, which like all marsupials can vary, in the case of the wombat: 20–21
They have a well-developed pouch, which the young leave after about 6–7 months.
Wombats are weaned after 15 months, and are sexually mature at 18 months.
Ecology and behaviour
Wombats have an extraordinarily slow metabolism, taking around 8-14 days to
complete digestion, which aids their survival in arid conditions.
They generally move slowly, and because of this are known for taking shortcuts.[citation
needed] When threatened, however, they can reach up to 40 km/h
(25 mph) and maintain that speed for up to 90 seconds.
Wombats defend home territories centred on their burrows, and they react
aggressively to intruders. The common wombat occupies a range of up to 23 ha
(57 acres), while the hairy-nosed species have much smaller ranges, of no more
than 4 ha (9.9 acres).
Dingos and Tasmanian Devils prey on wombats. The wombat's primary defence is
its toughened rear hide with most of the posterior made of cartilage. This,
combined with its lack of a meaningful tail, makes it difficult for any predator
that follows the wombat into its tunnel to bite and injure its target. When
attacked, wombats dive into a nearby tunnel, using their rump to block a
pursuing attacker. Wombats may
allow an intruder to force its head over their back and then use their powerful
legs to crush the skull of the predator against the roof of the tunnel, or drive
it off with two-legged 'donkey' kicks.
Humans who accidentally find themselves in an affray with a wombat may find it
best to scale a tree until the animal calms and leaves. Humans can receive
puncture wounds from wombat claws as well as bites. Startled wombats can also
charge humans and bowl them over,
with the attendant risks of broken bones from the fall.You know...
|The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus
latifrons) is one of three species of wombats. It is found in
scattered areas of semi-arid scrub and mallee from the eastern
Nullarbor Plain to the New South Wales border area. It is the
smallest wombat at around 775 to 935 mm and 20 to 32 kg, and the
young often do not survive dry seasons. It is classified as
vulnerable by the local authorities: a healthy population still
remains but appears to be ageing; it is feared that the consistently
sparse rainfall of recent years has prevented successful breeding.
(It takes three consecutive good seasons for a Southern Hairy-nosed
Wombat to reach near-adulthood.) Wombat specialists are concerned
that a continuation of the current trend to dryer climate in arid
southern Australia could be a serious threat to the Southern
There are three living species of wombat,
all of which reside only in Australia. All three of them are protected under
- Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
- Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat or Yaminon (Lasiorhinus krefftii)
- Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons)
Wombats and humans
Human impact on the wombat population is now at a critical level. Wombats
suffer from a disease called sarcoptic mite or mange that was introduced to
Australia and to wombats by human activity. Mites that cause mange lead to deep
skin fissures that become flyblown and septic. This leads to a long, slow and
painful death for wombats. In addition they are also being affected by a fungal
lung disease for which there is currently no cure. Diseases and viruses brought
in by farming activity now affect wombats. Incidents of coccidia, clostridium
perfringens and tetanus amongst others, are evident in wombats. Some people
believe that the distribution of mange is so widespread that only isolated
populations and those tended in sanctuaries will, in the long term, survive. It
is only recently that Veterinarians have begun to receive training in dealing
with native animal health. Behavioural studies on wombats are few and limited in
their scope. As a result, wombats are misunderstood and those attempting to rear
and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wombats have difficulty getting them
appropriate medical attention and in helping others understand the best ways of
living with wombats.
Habitat destruction is having a major impact on wombat numbers as well. Water
sources and grazing areas being fenced into farms and out of public lands limits
the suitable range for wombats to a small strip of land. Although Australia is a
big country there are few areas where wombats can live undisturbed. They are
restricted to a small section of the east coast of Australia. Unless they are
fully protected, their limited distribution will reduce further. This is already
evident in the northern Hairy Nose Wombat whose numbers are so low that the
species is severely threatened and without human intervention will become
Efforts are being made for the species' recovery. Xstrata, a Swiss global
mining company, has sponsored the Xstrata reintroduction project,
which is translocating a number of wombats to establish a new colony from Epping
Forest National Park to Yarran Downs.
Wombats were often called badgers by early settlers because of their
size and habit. Because of this, localities such as Badger Creek, Victoria and
Badger Corner, Tasmania were named after the wombat.
Many parks, zoos and other tourist set-ups across Australia have wombats on
public display, and they are quite popular. They can be awkwardly tamed in a
captive situation, and even coaxed into being patted and held, possibly becoming
However, their lack of fear means that they may display acts of aggression if
provoked, or if they are simply in a bad mood. Its sheer weight makes a charging
wild wombat capable of knocking an average-sized adult over, and their sharp
teeth and powerful jaws can inflict severe wounds. Wombats are wide-ranging
foragers and nocturnal with strong instincts for burrowing. These
characteristics, besides their possible danger to humans, make them unsuitable
Unlike most other Australian marsupials, the wombat has a relatively large
brain. This, combined with strong instincts upon maturity, allows a captive
hand-raised wombat to be easily released into the wild.
One naturalist, Harry Frauca, once received a bite 2 cm (0.79 in) deep into
the flesh of his leg—through a rubber boot, trousers and thick woollen socks
(Underhill, 1993). A UK newspaper, The Independent reported that on 6 April 2010
a 59-year-old man from rural Victoria state was mauled by a wombat (thought to
have been angered by mange)
causing a number of cuts and bite marks requiring hospital treatment. He
resorted to killing it with an axe.
Since 2005 there has been an unofficial holiday called Wombat Day observed on
22 October, at the beginning of the traditional aboriginal spring planting
The town Wombat, New South Wales, the asteroid 6827 Wombat, a soccer team in
Brisbane, the Parkville District Cricket Club in Melbourne, a U.S. Army Unit -
Avionics Platoon, Bravo Company, 563d ASB, 159th CAB, 101st Airborne Division
(AIR ASSAULT), the British anti-tank rifle L6 Wombat (an acronym), and British
rock band The Wombats are named after the animal.
hi my name is daniel.w and i am doing a power point for
endangered species on the southern hairy nosed wombat and i got an A
I'm in 7th grade and I know what a wombat is, but my teacher
does not! HA HA HA !
so good for projects
how did you know about the combat wombats of class 504-05, 4th
platoon MP 795 CO? I was in 4th platoon as a wombat... .haha