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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Common Wombat: Facts You Won't Believe!

Here are some common wombat facts to learn more about the cute mammal

Common wombats (Vombatus ursinus), also known as the bare-nosed or coarse-haired wombat, is the only marsupial in the genus vombatus from the three extant species of wombats. Wombats are one of the largest known burrowing animals currently recorded in the world. They are gifted with short, broad feet, powerful limbs, and flattened claws that help them dig up the soil for their burrows. Wombats spend their entire lives living in the same burrows. These burrows sometimes have as many as 20 entrances. These burrows only become unliveable under certain unfavorable circumstances such as when humans force them out or their burrows are destroyed due to natural disasters. Wombats are otherwise herbivores and grazers. They can work as efficient and speedy choppers of forbs and grass with the help of their always-growing incisors.

If you liked reading about Australian wombat facts, you could also check out these facts on numbat or rice rat.

Common Wombat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a wombat?

Wombats are a stocky and fairly large animal. They are marsupials that are also called a pouched animal. They are found in Australian lands and are scattered on its nearby islands. The common wombat gives birth to a tiny, young one that crawls into the mother's pouch on her belly. A wombat baby then goes on to remain in the pouch with the mother for a period of five months before finally developing and climbing out. It is important to save these beautiful species as the common wombat population is steadily decreasing every year.

What class of animal does a common wombat belong to?

Classified into class mammalia, wombats are known to be viviparous animals. The female directly gives birth to a young one, called a Joey, after having a gestation period of up to 30 days, after which the young lives in their mother's pouch for about five months. Breeding takes place once every two years. After mating, female wombats usually give birth to a single Joey.

How many common wombats are there in the world?

The population is highly fragmented, but the total population size is estimated to be in the vicinity of 60,000 to 130,000 individuals. Common wombat habitats are getting destroyed at a rapid speed, this is also the main cause of their declining numbers.

Where does a common wombat live?

All wombat species are known to exist primarily in both Australian and Tasmanian grasslands, forests, and mountains. They live in burrows, which consist of many tunnels including sleeping chambers. Some tunnels in a single burrow can reach up to 650 ft (200 m) in length, according to the San Diego zoo.

What is a common wombat's habitat?

The habitat of these marsupials is mainly the forested areas of Southeastern Australia. Common wombats are also found in mountainous areas. In New South Wales and Queensland, common wombats can be found in sclerophyll forests. In Tasmania and South Australia, lower altitudes and open vegetation like coastal scrubs, woodlands, and heathlands serve as their main habitats. The main shelters of these marsupials are the ones that they dig on slopes above gullies and creeks.

Who do common wombats live with?

Depending on nature, some wombats are social, while others are known to be loners. For example, common wombats are known to spend most of their time alone, while the hairy-nosed wombats can live with at least 12 other wombats in their burrow. A group of wombats is called a mob or colony. The only time we see solitary wombats socialize is for breeding and reproduction. They are from Australia.

How long does a common wombat live?

Joeys become independent at the age of 18 months, or two years. Wombats have a life that spans 15 to 20 years in the wild as well as captivity. As the common wombat classification of mammalia suggests, they directly give birth to their young and care for them till they're independent enough to live by themselves.

How do they reproduce?

Common wombats like to give birth in the months of December through March, ideally in the New South Wales' highlands. In Tasmania, the months when wombats are born is usually October through January.

Females, when they enter the estrus cycle, become aggressive and active. Observing captive wombats tells us that the females attack the males for about 30 minutes before allowing them to mate. The mating period lasts another 30 minutes, with both the partners lying on their sides. In the wild, the males chase the females in wide circles while courting. Males then bite the rump of females and roll over their side. After some minutes, females leave this position and start the chasing sequence again. This process is repeated many times. It is also noted that the mating sequences of common wombats in the wild versus when in captivity are different.

What is their conservation status?

Wombats are currently listed under the conservation status of Least Concern. It is still important for humans to protect this animal so they don't fall on the Endangered animals list. The life span of a common wombat is usually shorter in the wild than it is in captivity due to unknown reasons.

Common Wombat Fun Facts

What do common wombats look like?

Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) species is a small animal that looks like a crossbreed of a bear, a gopher, and a pig. They are built for digging with their compact heads, small noses, sharp teeth, strong claws, short legs, and short and broad feet. Like kangaroos and other marsupials, this little animal has a pouch. But the pouch of this burrow-living animal species is backward. Interestingly enough, their poo is in the shape of a cube. This just makes us wonder what the common wombat diet exactly consists of.

The Australian wombat is small and cute with a cute little nose and teeth

How cute are they?

With fur that looks so incredibly soft and enticing that it makes you want to rake your hands through it, along with their soft big black eyes and adorable little noses, their cuteness is right off the charts. Based on their appearance, people forget that they're quite an aggressive mammal. Wombats are not only territorial of their burrow but they are also not very welcoming of intruders. As a popular saying goes 'the smaller the animal, the greater the temper'. Wombats fall perfectly into the category that is a perfect blend of cute and wild. Being a nocturnal animal, they often prefer to leave their burrows in the dark of the night in order to feed. They can also be seen coming out during the day or late afternoon, especially when the days are cooler in temperature.

How do they communicate?

Southern hairy-nosed wombat species are known to communicate with each other through different vocalizations and scents. A direct encounter between two wombats is rare, and they rely more heavily on scent to communicate rather than sounds. Wombats spend considerable time investigating scents left recently by other wombats.

How big is a common wombat?

The common wombat body length is  28-47 in (80-130 cm). Wombats fall under the shorter species of animals, which makes them look cute and adorable in comparison to other animals, and mainly humans that are three times their size.

How fast can a common wombat run?

The fastest speed recorded of a common wombat is up to 24 mph (40 kmph).

How much does a common wombat weigh?

Common wombats (Vombatus ursinus) can grow to an average of 39 in (98 cm) in length and the common wombat weight reaches up to 57 lb (26kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male wombats are called Jack, and females are called Jill. Very little is known about how their names came to be, but it certainly puts an interesting twist to the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme.

What would you call a baby common wombat?

Joey is the correct term for a common wombat baby. They are born after the females gestation period which can last around 30 days. Babies of this species are very small when they are born.

What do they eat?

Wombats can spend between three and eight hours each night grazing on their favorite foods. Their diet mainly includes native grasses like snow grass, kangaroo grass, and wallaby grass. Their diet also includes sedges and the roots of various different shrubs and trees. They cut their food with their sharp, chisel-like front common wombat teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lifetime.

Are they dangerous?

Let's get one thing straight, wombats are highly adorable and the cutest animals you will ever meet! However, many times due to this exact reason, people forget that they are a wild animal. Being as aggressive in nature as they are, they're known to be a dangerous animal, enough to give you a good scare.

Would they make a good pet?

As wombats fall under the category of exotic pets, you can keep them as pets only if you have a valid license. But being a wild animal, it is highly difficult to care for them in captivity, let alone in a home as a pet. They are wild animals that deserve to live out in the open wilderness and in their own habitats. Keeping them as pets can harm not only them but also the owners. Many times, they only have half the knowledge that they need when taking care of these creatures. This leads to people abandoning them, especially when they get aggressive.

Did you know...

Wombat scat is cube-shaped. The scat acts as a territorial marker and also helps in attracting a mate. Talk about weird animal behavior! And as if that wasn't enough, their scats are oftentimes left on the top of rocks and logs. The cube shape simply means that their poop cannot roll away and stays put in precarious locations. Due to this, they also are known to have super strong and super tough bums.

Are common wombats endangered?

The northern hairy-nosed wombat are one of the rarest land mammals. They're listed as Critically Endangered. They can now only be found in one place, which is the Epping Forest National Park in Queensland. Although, the common wombat comes under the category of Least Concern.

Can you have a pet wombat?

Wombats are very cute and cuddly in appearance. This is one reason why people want to have them as pets. However, many people are also unaware that they can be dangerous as pets. Wombats prefer to live in their own special burrows, and they are very territorial due to this. Even when these animals are shy and inquisitive in nature, they can become aggressive just as quickly.

Wombats are a protected species. It is illegal to keep them as pets in Australia. Only people who are registered wildlife carers are allowed to keep these animals in captivity. Importing this animal to any foreign country is also illegal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Chinese hamster, or shrew.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Common Wombat coloring pages.

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