Bandicoot Facts

Bandicoot Facts
Bandicoot is a small animal that belongs to the group of marsupials. It looks like a rat, but it is actually more closely related to a rabbit. Bandicoot can be found in the rainforests, wet and dry woodlands, swamps and thickets of Australia. Out of 21 species of bandicoots, seven are classified as critically endangered or already extinct. Number of bandicoots decreased greatly as a result of climate change, habitat loss and introduction of new predatory species.
Interesting Bandicoot Facts:
Bandicoot is a small marsupial. Males can be double of the size of the females. Bandicoots can reach 11 to 31 inches in length, and 0.4 to 3.5 pounds in weight.
Bandicoots have long, pointed snout, large ears, short body and long tail. Their body is covered with fur that can be brown, black, golden, white or gray in color.
Bandicoots have strong hind legs designed for jumping. Just like in kangaroos, second and third toe on each foot are merged together.
Bandicoots are nocturnal (active at night) animals. They will spend day hidden in dense vegetation, to avoid predators.
Due to small size, bandicoots are easy prey for dingoes, foxes, snakes and wildcats.
Bandicoots are omnivores (they eat both plants and animals). They usually look for insects, small rodents, eggs, fruit, nuts, seed and berries.
When bandicoot detects underground prey, it digs a hole using its front paws and reaches its meal with long snout.
Bandicoots are vocal animals. They produce snuffing sound while they are looking for food and piglet-like grunting when the food is detected. Also, they produce high-pitched sounds when disturbed.
Bandicoots are territorial animals. They will aggressively protect their territory from all intruders that attempt to conquer it.
Bandicoots are solitary animals that will gather only for mating. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at age of five months. Although female is able to have new litter every 7 to 8 weeks, only 2 to 3 litters will be produced each year.
Just like in other marsupials, female is equipped with pouch. Bandicoots have the shortest period of pregnancy of all mammals that lasts only 12 days. Baby is very small and poorly developed at birth. After birth, it will crawls toward the pouch, where it will complete its development.
Baby spends 54 days in the pouch, attached to the teat which provides milk. Pouch usually holds between 3 and 6 babies at the same time.
Unlike in other marsupials, pouch is open backward. This is special adaptation to the life style of bandicoots. Backward opening prevents dirt to enter the pouch when mother digs the ground while searching for food.
Young bandicoots are ready for independent life when they reach age of four months.
Bandicoots have short lifespan. If they manage to escape from the predators, bandicoots can survive up to three years.

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