Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Those Wacky Wombats, a big hit in Victorian Times.

                                  No, not the rock group... 

the common wombat, which is 
the largest burrowing mammal in existence, and the second largest marsupial. Nocturnal and solitary, they spend most of the day below ground, so it's rare for humans to spot one in the wild. 

Wombats live in the forests, mountains, and heathland in 
Australia, including Tasmania, and central Queensland. The northern species is classified as Critically Endangered.

These chubby darlings, can grow as large as 47 inches in length, weighing 80 pounds.

Wombats have long flat claws that give them a shuffling gait but make them extremely efficient burrowers.
                        click here for baby wombat running!

    They may have up to 12 burrows with a network of sub-tunnels, including multiple entrances/exits, and places places to sleep.                                          Sounds like a hobbit house!
     A group of wombats is called a wisdom, a mob, or a colony.                                                                  
     After a gestation period of only 3 weeks, female wombats give birth to one baby, called a joey. Tiny and undeveloped, the joey crawls into their mother's pouch
 immediately where they remain for about 5 months. 

The mother's unique backward pouch prevents the baby from being covered in dirt and debris as the Mother is digging and burrowing. 

Wild wombats live an average of 5 years. 
In captivity, they can live up to 30 years. 

After 1803, a steady trickle of live wombats reached Europe. There was a wombat among the birds and
animals delivered to the menagerie of the Empress Joséphine Bonaparte at Malmaison.        
        The establishment of the wombat’s Victorian reputation took off with the appearance in 1855 of John Gould’s The Mammals of Australia. And in September 1869, the great artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti bought the first of two pet wombats. 
 He was quite distraught over their passing. 
  The wombat diet consists primarily of grasses, sedges, herbs, bark, and roots. And with their unusually slow metabolism — it takes them from 8 to 14 days to digest their meals. Maybe that's why their output is SQUARE. 
               To mark their territory, they leave piles of square                               poohs, even stacking them in prominent places. 

    Threats to wombats include loss of habitat, competition with other animals for food, rabbit poisons, hunting, and road accidents. Adult wombats are preyed upon by dingoes, foxes, and Tasmanian devils. Younger wombats are also prey for eagles, owls and quolls
               Apparently, they are also great fans of the Beatles. 

                                           See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

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