Wombat Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Common wombat

Scientific Name:

Vombatus ursinus

Wild Status:

least concern

Habitat:

forest, woodland, grassland

Country:

Australia

Shelter:

Life Span:

15 years average; over 20 in captivity

Size:

3-4 feet long, 60 pounds

Cool Facts:

Like all marsupials, wombats give birth to highly underdeveloped young called joeys and raise them in a pouch. Unlike other marsupials, the pouch of the wombat faces backwards to prevent soil getting in while digging.   Wombat poop is cube-shaped and is considerable drier than the scat of other mammals, with a water content as low as 40%.   Wombats may live in small social groups of up to 10 animals known as wisdom, mob, or colony.   While modern wombats are about the size of dogs, some of their prehistoric relatives were much larger. The largest marsupial of all time was a wombat relative called Diprotodon. At almost 10 feet nose-to-tail, standing over 6.5 feet at the withers, and tipping the scales at over three tons, Diprotodon was comparable in size to a hippo or rhino.

Details:

The common wombat is a burrowing marsupial native to Australia. It can be found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grassland, woodland, arid scrub, coastal regions, mountains, heathland, and even in agricultural fields. Wombats are well built for a fossorial lifestyle, with stout limbs tipped with powerful claws to aide them in digging. A typical burrow measures up to 100 feet long and may extended over 11 feet underground. Wombats are herbivores and feed on a variety of grasses, sedges, and herbs. A typical wombat measures a little over a yard long and can weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Mammalia Order - Diprotodontia Family - Vombatidae Genus - Vombatus Species - V. ursinus

Conservation & Helping:

While the common wombat is official protected in most of Australia, it is classified as least concern. The southern hairy-nosed wombat, Lasiorhinus latifrons, is classified as near threatened. However, the northern hairy-nosed wombat, L. krefftii, is critically endangered with a total population of around 230 individuals.

For Teachers and Educators

Wombat-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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