This post is dedicated to Serena – for BEAN my inspiration
Vombatus Ursinus – The Common Wombat
Behavior & Sleeping Habits
Active in the night, wombats dig burrows to sleep in, keeping them cool from the harsh sunlight. These creatures can be aggressive to others when feeling threatened. Aggression can be noted if growled at or hissed at. Wombats are solitary animals, but occasionally will come across another wombat or will – in rare cases – share a burrow with another wombat (Australian Museum).
The wombat is anywhere from about 30 to 45 inches (76 to 115 centimeters) in length and weighs anywhere from about 44 to 85 pounds (22 to 39 kilograms) (Australian Museum).
Wombats are herbivores and graze on various plants such as eucalyptus leaves or pine needles. Other food they have been noted to eat include Tussock, Kangaroo, and Wallaby grass, along with bark, fungi, and the occasional moss for more hydration (Australian Museum).
The wombat is native to Australia, more specifically, the southeastern corner. They can also be found in Tasmania (Designer Animals).
The wombat can defend itself well by simply running to its burrow. When attacked, they will bash the predator’s head against the burrow wall WITH ITS BUTT. Their claws and sharp teeth are also a great defense (Wombania).
Predators of the common wombat include dingoes, foxes, and Tasmanian devils. Young wombats are sometimes prey to eagles and owls (Animal Fact Guide).
They typically live 11 years in the wild and can live to over 20 years old in captivity (Australian Museum).
Wombats are another part of the marsupial family. This means they carry their young, called “joeys”, in a pouch. A male will roam around an area and will detect a female on her estrous cycle (“Honey, I’m ovulating!”) by her droppings. He will mount her and she will become pregnant with a single joey. After a three week gestation, a hairless, blind joey will be born and will find its way to the mother’s pouch. The baby will stay in the pouch for about six months after birth. They won’t become independent from its mother for another eighteen months. Wombats can begin to mate at the age of 2. Breeding seasons vary, depending on location.
Species Survival Status
The Common Wombat is listed as a “Least Concern” by the IUCN.
Fast Fun Facts
- The wombat’s pouch is backwards, opening towards its butt, to avoid dirt entering when the mother digs burrows (Animals).
- Their poop is cube shaped (Live Science).
- Sometimes, a male will aggressively bite a female’s butt to keep her still enough for him to mount her (Animals).
- Two thirds of a wombat’s life is spent underground (Australian Museum).
- Wombats can waddle up to 25 miles (40 kilometers) per hour (Wired).
- It is believed that wombats used to be the size of rhinos! (Wired)
- Patrick the wombat is the oldest and largest wombat, at 88 pounds (40 kg) and 29 years old. He lives in a wildlife park in Victoria (Wired).