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Common Wombat image
Common Wombat

Common Wombat

(Mammal)

Common Wombat Baby
Common Wombat Baby

Common Wombat Habits

Among the coastal hills and woodland areas of its habitat, the wombat lives in burrows that it digs itself. It uses the burrow as a resting place and as a retreat in times of danger. A single wombat may have 10 of more burrows, each with several entrances. When digging a burrow, the wombat uses its strong forepaws and sharp claws to loosen the earth. It removes the din from the burrow with all four paws.
Since it is mainly nocturnal, the wombat spends most of its days sleeping in the burrow. Frequently, however, it will dig a shallow depression in the ground nearby and lie in the morning sun.
The wombat is a solitary animal. Although its burrows may be close to those of another wombat's and may even interconnect, they are rarely shared.
If pursued by a predator, the wombat runs to its burrow and turns its hind quarters toward its attacker. The the skin of its rump protects it against injury, and the wombat often further deters its attacker by kicking at it.

Common Wombat Communication

Wombats are generally quiet animals. They tend to be more vocal during mating season. When angered, they can make hissing sounds. Their call sounds somewhat like a pig's squeal. They can also make grunting noises, a low growl, a hoarse cough, and a clicking noise.
A growling noise is made when adults confront each other. Females in heat may make calls when males pursue them. Wombats can also make noises when they're alarmed, or as a warning to other animals that they're angry.
Mothers and infants communicate with short hissing sounds. This has been described as a "huh" or "hhhmmpph" sound. When sleeping, wombats will sometimes snore.

Common Wombat Breeding

One of the few times that normally solitary wombats seek each other out is durinc mating season, from April to June. Several weeks after mating the female bears a single young. The newborn's development is incomplete, but its forepaws are strong enough to enable it to crawl into its mother's pouch. It attaches itself to a nipple for six months until it is completely formed.
Unlike most marsupials, the wombat's pouch opens to the rear, rattier than to the front. The advantage to this is that the young does not become covered with dirt as the mother burrows. The position of the pouch also makes it easy for the young to climb into it.
When the young wombat is old enough to leave the pouch, it still remains close to its mother for another year, ready to take refuge in her pouch should danger threaten. It feeds on the tender roots of grasses that its mother tears up and drops on the ground. At 18 months, the young wombat leaves the burrow and becomes completely independent.

Common Wombat Food & Feeding

Grass is the wombats principal food. At night it follows regularly used paths to its feeding grounds. It may travel as much as a mile. It uses its forepaws to grasp and tear the vegetation. It also eats roots, shrubs, fungi, and the bark and leaves of trees.
A wombat has its own feeding area, which it defends aggressively. It also marks the territory with its droppings to serve as a visual warning to other wombats.
The wombat is a marsupial and has an extemal abdominal pouch similar to that of a kangaroo. Still, the wombat is unlike other marsupials in that its teeth are more like those of a rodent. It has sharp-edged incisors but no canine teeth. Furthermore, its teeth have no roots and grow continuously so they do not wear away.

Common Wombat Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: Length: 36-45 inches
              Weight: 48-90 pounds
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: 2 years
             Mating: Fall
             Gestation: 20-22 days. Young stay in pouch for 6 months
             Number of young: 1
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Solitary, except for breeding season
            Diet: Grass, roots, bark, and fungi
            Lifespan: No more than 5 years

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Fishermen on the islands in the Bass Strait used to tame wombats and keep them as pets, like dogs.
  • The fur of the common wombat is so bristly that in Tasmania it was often used to make doormats.
  • The largest and most diverse assortment of marsupials is found in Australia, where there are over 100 different species.
  • A wombat can dig as quickly as a man with a shovel can.
  • A newborn wombat only measures 4/5 of an inch.

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