Fun Golden Bandicoot Facts For Kids

Sharon Judith
Oct 20, 2022 By Sharon Judith
Originally Published on Aug 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Read on to discover more interesting golden bandicoot facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The golden bandicoot may look like a rodent but is actually a ground-living, golden brown, solitary marsupial. Scientifically called Isoodon Auratus, it belongs to the Perimalidae family.

Historically, this species was largely found in the mainland areas, throughout northern Australia and extended to New South Wales.

Today, however, the golden bandicoot is only located in the smaller regions of Western Australia and coastal islands like the Barrow Island, Middle Islands, Mount Augustus, and the Marchinbar Island of the Northern Territory and are close to extinct in the mainland. In fact, this bandicoot is now extinct in South Australia.

These bandicoots are as cute as a guinea pig with small bodies, an elongated nose, short round ears, and a thin long tail. Golden bandicoots are known to inhabit spinifex, bunch grasses, eucalypt woodlands, and even caves.

Having an omnivorous diet, their food ranges from ants and termites to roots and seeds.

As it is a marsupial that builds its nests and sleeps during the day in thick shrubs, it comes out at night in search of food making the golden bandicoot nocturnal. As a result, they have a greatly developed sense of smell and vision, making it easier for them to prey and see in low levels of light.

These species that are native to Australia play a huge role in the turnover of the soil since they eat insects, thus eradicating them from the soil.

At the same time, they scatter the seeds of the plant material they eat. This leads to more vegetative and plant growth.

If you want to discover more interesting facts on bandicoots, then check out our bandicoot fun facts for kids or marsupial interesting facts that you're sure to enjoy!

Golden Bandicoot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden bandicoot?

The golden bandicoot, often mistaken for a rodent, is actually a marsupial.

What class of animal does a golden bandicoot belong to?

This bandicoot, which is an Australian native, belongs to the class of mammals.

How many golden bandicoots are there in the world?

The exact number of these Australian marsupials is not known but their populations are fixed to each location and region. In short, they have a fragmented distribution in certain islands in Australia.

Around 20,000 golden bandicoots are distributed across Barrow Island, 1,400 on Marchinabar Island, and 1,000 on Middle Island.

They are now a threatened species and soon to be extinct as they were constantly preyed on by dogs, foxes, feral cats, and even by some aboriginal people. In fact, these ground-dwelling mammals are said to be limited in western Australia and extinct on the Australian mainland.

Where does a golden bandicoot live?

The golden bandicoot formerly spread across New South Wales, north-west, and South Australia now only has its distribution and range in small regions. These native Australian marsupials prefer a dry environment, tropical savannah regions, and also rainforests with sandstone.

What is a golden bandicoot's habitat?

Golden bandicoots are known to live in any kind of environment like coastal shrubs, eucalypt and heath woodlands, vine thickets, grassland areas, margin areas of rainforests lined with sandstone, rocky caves, and spinifex areas. Their populations were initially found in arid deserts and semi-arid areas of Australia.

Threats like fire regimes and predators like feral cats, red foxes, small reptiles, and few other large birds are responsible for the declining trend in the population and distribution of these marsupials.

Many other native animals also share the habitat of the bandicoot. Some of these include the partridge, Koorawal, and Northern quoll.

Who do golden bandicoots live with?

This small marsupial is solitary, and prefers living by itself except when it comes to breeding and raising babies.

How long does a golden bandicoot live?

The golden bandicoot lives a short life and this is for about two to three years in the wild. It has made its home on the plateau region of northeast Western Australia and some islands of the coast of Australia

How do they reproduce?

The breeding habits of these golden bandicoots that are a threatened species are not known in detail. They tend to breed throughout the year, once in the dry season and the other in the wet season.

The males leave the females soon once copulation is finished. The period of gestation in females lasts for about two weeks.

They give birth to around two to three juveniles. Once they are born, they climb into the pouch of the mother and latch on to one of the teats inside the pouch. The mother then nurses them for a period of eight weeks.

This pouch is like an opening towards the back. This is to ensure that no dirt enters when she burrows in the ground

What is their conservation status?

The golden bandicoot has a Vulnerable conservation status. Their population, however, is facing a declining trend due to reasons like predation in their range from feral predators and changing fire regimes.

The spread of these fires has also led to the loss of the golden bandicoot habitat and making them easy preys to these predators further causing a loss in their populations.

Golden Bandicoot Fun Facts

What do golden bandicoots look like?

Golden bandicoots are nocturnal animals that show a preference for living by themselves unless when to comes to mating and caring for the young ones. At first glance, it assumes a hunched posture and has a golden to slightly brownish fur.

They have a small tight body, softly rounded ears, a long nose, and a tail of impressive length. The hind legs of the golden bandicoot are much more muscular and strong compared to their relatively short forelimbs.

Eastern Barred Bandicoot

*We've been unable to source an image of a golden bandicoot and have used an image of an Eastern Barred Bandicoot instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a golden bandicoot, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com

How cute are they?

If you are a fan of guinea pigs, hamsters, and Albino rats, you'd love how cute golden bandicoots are! Sadly, they are not eligible as pets because they are a threatened species and hence, it is illegal to trap them and keep them as pets. Moreover, given their nocturnal and shy nature, they would not make exciting pets.

How do they communicate?

You'll be surprised to know that golden bandicoots discern their environment in many ways and communicate using the same methods too! They rely on their hearing abilities the most. These western Australian animals also use their sense of smell to detect and locate their prey. These nocturnal marsupials are also known to have great vision in the dark.

How big is a golden bandicoot?

The golden bandicoot, which is endemic to Western Australia and the northwestern islands, is a small animal and is the same size as that of a guinea pig.

How fast can a golden bandicoot run?

As they are bandicoots, these animals are very energetic and have a fascinating running style called a gallop.

How much does a golden bandicoot weigh?

A golden bandicoot is said to weigh between 8.8-23 oz (249.4-652 g). They are said to weigh as much as the size of a packet of butter! The length of their body is about 7.4-11.8 in (18.7-30 cm).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for these male and female species that belong to the Perimelidae family.

What would you call a baby golden bandicoot?

A baby golden bandicoot is called a joey.

What do they eat?

These mammals have an omnivorous diet. They eat ants, termites, turtle eggs, seeds, tubers, plant material, and so on. They are also seen eating the eggs of other small species and reptiles.

Are they dangerous?

They don't harm humans. However, if agitated they could fake an attack using their sharp claws and teeth. Golden bandicoots, in fact, are quite advantageous because their diet consists of insects, which helps in controlling them as they are major pests to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Since these species of marsupials are nocturnal and tend to be shy and introverted, they don't make very exciting or thrilling pets. In fact, it is illegal to trap the golden bandicoot and keep it as a pet as it is an endangered species and soon becoming extinct.

Therefore, it is best to leave them alone in their natural habitat where they thrive best.

Did you know...

If the female golden bandicoot is unable to find food for herself, she may resort to eating her young ones!

Having their own particular home range, they are also very territorial. However, the population of these animals is declining so rapidly that they may soon go extinct.

Why are golden bandicoots endangered?

Golden bandicoots are now considered endangered for reasons like shifting patterns in fire regimes and being predated by feral cats and foxes. The loss of habit is also another reason why they become vulnerable and preyed on in their range.

Do bandicoots eat eucalyptus?

No, the golden bandicoot only lives in eucalypt woodland but they don't eat the eucalypt plants.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these muskrat facts and dormouse facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable muskrat coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is a southern brown bandicoot, another species of bandicoots. 

Golden Bandicoot Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects, roots, seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, succulents

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivore

Average Litter Size?

2-3

How Much Did They Weigh?

8.8-23 oz (249.4-652 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

tropical forests, spinifex grassland, vine thickets

Where Do They Live?

Northern Territory and Western Australia

How Long Were They?

13.8 in (35 cm )

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Isoodon

Family

Peramelidae

Scientific Name

Isoodon auratus

What Do They Look Like?

Golden brown

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

Feral predators like cats and foxes

What is their Conservation Status?

Vulnerable

Northern Territory and Western Australia

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Written by Sharon Judith

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology, Economics, and Sociology

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Sharon JudithBachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology, Economics, and Sociology

A humanities and Science student, Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Psychology, Economics, and Sociology from Mount Carmel College and is currently pursuing her Master's in Science from Bournemouth University. She is passionate about research, content writing, and development, and has a keen interest in international finance and economics. With her strong analytical skills and inquisitive mind, she is always striving to deepen her knowledge and understanding of these subjects.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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