Wombat is a widespread Australian animal that looks like a tiny bear and a hamster at the same time. They live underground, carry cubs in a bag and are able to defeat even a dog.
The wombat has a body length of up to 130 centimeters and a weight of up to 45 kilograms. There are several types of wombats, of which the largest is broad-faced. In ancient times, there were even more species and the existence of an animal weighing up to 200 kg, which lived about 11,000 years ago, was proved. In general, wombats appeared about 18 million years ago and had many species, among which was a giant, the size of a rhino.
Modern wombats seem thick and rather clumsy. In fact, this is not entirely true. The body of the wombat has a compact addition and allows it not only to run perfectly, but also to climb trees and swim. During the run, the wombat can reach speeds of up to 60 km / h!
The color of this animal is highly dependent on the particular species. However, gray or brown shades prevail in all representatives. Wool - thick, smooth, evenly covering almost the entire body. In the vast majority of wombats, even the nose is covered with wool.
Wombats have very strong paws with five fingers and powerful claws. Their shape is fully adapted for efficient digging of the earth.
Wombats live in holes that they themselves dig. The burrow structure is complex and often represents a whole system of moves. When living in a small area of two or more wombats, the moves of their holes can intersect. In this case, they are used by all the "owners". Burrows are used by wombats as permanent places of residence and asylum from possible danger.
Historically, wombats have virtually no natural enemies. The threat comes only from the dingo dog introduced by people and the Tasmanian devil - a strong local predator. Despite their small size, wombats are able to defend well, and they do it very non-standard.
In the back of the body of all wombats there is a very solid “backing” of thick skin, cartilage and bones. It is very difficult to damage it with teeth or claws, so the wombat closes the entrance to the cave with the back of the body and blocks the entrance for the vast majority of intruders. If the penetration into the home did occur, then the guest may not go back. A wombat is able to squeeze into a corner and strangle even a Dingo dog. In addition to pressure from the back “shield”, he knows how to deliver strong blows to the forehead, acting like cattle.
Wombat is a herbivore animal. Like other marsupials, it feeds on grass, leaves, and roots. Also in the diet include various mushrooms, berries and moss. For full life, a wombat requires a record low amount of water.
Wombats and man
Despite their fighting qualities, wombats are characterized by a good-natured disposition. Tamed animals love affection and stroking, quite easily getting used to a person. Locals often keep wombats as pets. With a certain zeal, this beast can even be trained! At the same time, it is not recommended to enter into close contact with wild animals. A heavy and powerful wombat, armed with claws, can be dangerous even for an adult.
The wombat population, in general, is not declining. However, with the increase in human presence on the Australian mainland, a separate species - Queensland - almost disappeared. Now there are about a hundred of its representatives living in a specialized reserve in Queensland.
Complete List of Australia Animals