Interesting facts about the Tasmanian wombat

4 minutes. for reading
We found 12 interesting facts about the Tasmanian wombat

Animal excreting cubes

The wombat is a herbivorous mammal native to southeastern Australia. This is the only marsupial whose teeth constantly grow, and its excrement is unique in the world because it looks like small cubes.


The Tasmanian wombat (Vombatus ursinus) is a species of mammal from the wombat family (Vombatidae).

Wombats are a family of mammals in the order Diprotodontia, probably closely related to koalas.


There are two modern types of wombats.

  • Wombatus - a wombat - the only representative of which is the Tasmanian wombat.
  • Lasiorhinus - Wombat Bat - This genus includes two species: the broad-headed wombat bat and the rough-headed wombat bat.


The Tasmanian wombat inhabits Australia from the borders of Queensland and New South Wales along the Victorian Deserts to the south-eastern tip of Australia and Tasmania.

Its three subspecies:

  • Vombatus usinus ursinus - found on Flinders Island in Bass Strait (between Australia and Tasmania).
  • Vombatus ursinus hirsutus - found in the south-eastern part of mainland Australia.
  • Vombatus ursinus tasmaniensis - found in Tasmania.


The wombat is similar in appearance to a badger and has uniform gray fur.

Australian scientists examined wombats (and long-eared ones) under ultraviolet light and found that under a black light lamp their fur shimmered in shades of green, blue and pink. When ultraviolet light falls on their fur in the dark, marsupials and monotremes look as if they were painted with “luminous” paints. In recent years, it has been discovered that biofluorescence is more common among mammals than previously thought (flying squirrels have pink fur when exposed to ultraviolet light). It is not yet known what causes this or what significance it has in their lives, but it is believed that it may be related to their nocturnal lifestyle.


Wombats are animals with a strong build and short legs.

They reach a length of 90-115 cm, and a body weight of 22-40 kg. They have a thick, wide head and a vestigial tail. The wombat's large head has small eyes. His vision is poor, but his sense of smell, hearing and vibration are well developed. Long, sensitive hair grows around the nose. The croup is covered with thick, keratinized skin. Their teeth lack fangs. Wombats are marsupials, they have a nesting pouch (marsupium), which, unlike kangaroos, opens backwards - the cubs enter the pouch from the mother's rump. This prevents the cubs from getting dirty while digging holes. There are two pacifiers in the bag.


These are herbivores.

They have a digestive system adapted to eating tough vegetation: a simple stomach, a wide, short cecum and an extremely slow metabolism. It takes them 14 days to complete a full digestive cycle, so they are not very active animals. They can go without drinking for several weeks, during which time they obtain water from the plants they eat.


Wombats usually feed at night.

They are the only marsupials in the world whose teeth constantly grow because they are constantly worn down. The wombat bites off food using rapid movements of the lower jaw, its teeth are different from other marsupials, they are more similar to the teeth of rodents. The main component of their diet is local grasses. They also eat roots, bark and leaves of trees and shrubs.


They reach sexual maturity at the age of 18 months.

The mating season lasts from April to June. After 20-22 days of pregnancy, one calf is born, which remains in the brood pouch for 6-7 months, and even after that does not leave it for another three to four months. The cub feeds on mother's milk for about 15 months. After leaving the pouch, the cubs continue to cling to their mother for the first year of life or longer until they are completely covered in fur.


Wombats are a solitary, territorial species, with each individual having a specific habitat in which it lives and feeds.

They dig a system of burrows with many exits in the ground or under limestone rocks. They dig holes with their front paws, equipped with long and sharp claws. Corridors can be up to 20 m long. Recent bushfires in eastern and south-eastern Australia have shown that burrows are often much longer than originally thought, with some having more than 20 entrances, and that many wombat burrows have been used by other species, including rock wallaby and swamp wallaby, which take shelter from the fire. It is unknown whether this was done with the consent of the “owner” of the hole.


Several wombats can live in the same burrow, and wombats usually live in the same burrow throughout their lives.

It may happen that the wombat is thrown out of the hole by farmers or another animal, or the hole is destroyed. Wombats often emerge from their burrows during the day if the day is cool, in the early morning or late afternoon. Their habitat is arid open areas.


Wombats live on average 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

The species is not threatened with extinction except in the Victoria region. Despite this, it was decided to limit the hunting of these animals.


Wombats are the only species in the world that defecate in cubic shapes.

There have been many theories about what this is for. Some argue that this makes it easier for wombats to mark territory - cube-shaped excrement will not roll off, for example, from a sloping stone. Another theory is that this is because their food contains very little water as they live in very dry conditions. This theory is supported by the fact that wombats living in captivity (in zoos), where they have access to more water, produce more spherical feces. 

However, research by scientists has proven that wombats have a specific large intestine, especially its first part, which has a flattened upper and lower wall that forms feces into cubes. The second, final section of the intestine remains smooth and retains its previously formed shape.

Interesting FactsInteresting facts about the shoebill
The next
Interesting FactsInteresting facts about seals

Without Cockroaches