Wombats are Australian marsupials; they
are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 39 inches in length
with a very short tail. They are found in forested, mountainous, and
heathland areas of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The name
wombat comes from the Eora Aboriginal community who were the
original inhabitants of the Sydney area.
Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with
rodent-like front teeth and powerful claws. One distinctive adaptation
of wombats is their backwards pouch. The advantage of a backwards-facing
pouch is that when digging, the wombat does not gather dirt in its pouch
over its young. Wombats are not commonly seen, but leave ample evidence
of their passage, treating fences as minor inconveniences to be gone
through or under, and leaving distinctive cubic faeces.
Wombats are herbivores; their diet consists
mostly of grasses, sedges, herbs, bark and roots.
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