Monday, June 20, 2011

wombat on a reserve munches on carrots

wombat on a reserve munches on carrots, common name for three species of burrowing herbivorous (plant eating)MARSUPIAL (Mammals that carries its young in a pouch). Wombats have long claws that are adapted for digging, and they live in burrows, from which they emerge at night to feed on grasses and other plants. The teeth of wombats are of continuous growth, and, a single pair of chisellike incisors is found in each jaw.
Young Wombats are born singly and each is carried in its mother's pouch.

This large, pudgy mammal is a marsupial, or pouched animal, found in Australia and on scattered islands nearby. Like other marsupials, wombats give birth to tiny, undeveloped young that crawl into pouches on their mothers' bellies. A wombat baby remains in its mother's pouch for about five months before emerging. Even after it leaves the pouch, the young animal will frequently crawl back in to nurse or to escape danger. By about seven months of age, a young wombat can care for itself.

Wombats use their claws to dig burrows in open grasslands and eucalyptus forests. They live in these burrows, which can become extensive tunnel-and-chamber complexes. Common wombats are solitary and inhabit their own burrows, while other species may be more social and live together in larger burrow groups called colonies.

Wombats are nocturnal and emerge to feed at night on grasses, roots, and bark. They have rodentlike incisors that never stop growing and are gnawed down on some of their tougher vegetarian fare.

Wombats can be likened to the beaver. They are great diggers and live in burrows or tunnels, sometimes as long as 30 metres, but generally about 3 the 5 metres long. A nest of bark is made at the end of the burrow and they produce only one off-spring each year.

Because of their great strength and digging habit they can be a nuisance to farmers by breaking fences and damaging crops and pastures. Because of this unfortunate digging habit they have been targeted and their numbers are greatly reduced.

There are approximately three different varieties of wombats. The largest is approximately 114 centimeters long and the smallest about 69 centimeters. The colour of the fur and texture also varies from a yellowish brown to black, and the texture from very coarse to a rather soft silky type.

They are solitary harmless creatures and when raised from infancy can make playful and affectionate pets. However the female has been known to bite when protecting her young. So if you do see one do not rush up and try to pat it, just remember they are wild creatures, no matter how appealing they may look.

Aussie Slang

If someone calls you a wombat it means you are slightly thick and a little bit stupid. This is not a terrible insult because Aussies like their wombats and generally it means the person is slightly exasperated with your behaviour. There are far worse insults than this.

The field and pasture damage caused by wombat burrowing can be a destructive nuisance to ranchers and farmers. Wombats have been hunted for this behavior, as well as for their fur and simply for sport. Some species (the northern hairy-nosed wombats) are now critically endangered, while others (the common or coarse-haired wombat) are still hunted as vermin. Space for all wombats is at a premium as farm and ranch lands increasingly replace natural space.

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