Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Long Nosed Bandicoot

Long Nosed Bandicoot
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Infraclass : Marsupialia
Order : Peramelemorphia
Family : Peramelidae
Genus : Perameles
Species: nasuta

Length : 12-18in (30-46cm)
Weight : 2.2lbs (1kg)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

I'm going to be honest. Yesterday's animal (the Melon Aphid) grossed me out a bit. Tiny virus spreading insects that lives in massive swarms are just a wee bit unnerving to me, so today I need to turn it around and do something a little less frightening... like Bandicoots. Which I suppose could be a bit creepy if encountered after dark, (which is when they are most active) but better than Aphids at least...

There are actually about twenty different species of Bandicoot, which are marsupials found in Australia. This species in particular is found along the eastern edge of the continent. The Long Nosed Bandicoot is the largest member of its genus, and it has an exceptionally long snout (hence the name.) They are a bit plain in color, and don't have some of the fancy stripes that the other species have.

Did you know that the female Long Nosed Bandicoot is only pregnant for 12 days? The young are helpless at birth, like all tiny marsupials are, but it only takes them 60 days to be completely weaned. The female can then produce another litter just days later. Females have pouches that open toward the rear, which keeps their young from getting dirt kicked at them while mom digs for food.

Long Nosed Bandicoots are omnivores, and spend their nights foraging for roots and insects. They dig holes with their feet and stick their snouts in to sniff for meals. During the day their sleep in burrows.

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