Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
The Wombat is the largest burrowing animal in the world. There are three types: the Common wombat, the Northern Hairy-nosed wombat and the Southern Hairy-nosed wombat
The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat grows to about 13½ inches (34cm) tall and 39 inches (99cm) long and weighs about 77 pounds (35kg). It is a solidly built animal with strong legs and claws for burrowing. It's fur is soft and silky with black patches around the eyes. The head is broad and flat with small eyes and ears and a turned over nose. The nose is covered with short brown hair. It has a very short tail, hidden by it's fur.
Females have a backward opening pouch with two teats inside.
The Southern Hairy-nosed wombat lives in the drier areas near the state borders between Western and Southern Australia. The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat once lived in western New South Wales and southern Queensland. The only surviving colony is in Epping Forest, central Queensland.
Habits & Biology
All wombats are solitary animals and generally nocturnal. They spend most of the day sleeping alone in a burrow only coming out at night to eat grasses, plant roots and moss. Their strong teeth never stop growing and don't have roots. Even an old wombat has teeth that are strong enough to grind food.
In times of drought wombats can go without food and water for a long time. They stay in the cool moist air of their burrows during the heat of the day, conserving energy.
The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat grows to about 13½ inches (34cm) tall and 39 inches (99cm) long and weighs about 77 pounds (35kg). It's soft silky fur is mostly brown with black patches around the eyes. It has short powerful legs with strong claws. The front paws are used for digging, while the rear paws push the dirt out of the burrow. Wombat noses are turned over to stop dust getting into them. They each have a short tail hidden by fur, and their heads are broad and flat with short ears.
Wombats are marsupial mammals. The female gives birth to one baby at a time. The blind hairless baby climbs through the mother's fur into her pouch and clamps it's mouth onto one of two teats which supply milk. The wombat's pouch like that of the koala is rear opening. The young wombat stays inside the pouch for the first six months, only poking out its head to nibble grass.
Wombats look clumsy with their lumbering walk but can reach speeds up to 25 miles an hour (40km) for short distances.