Numbat Facts

Numbat Facts
Numbat is one of the rare marsupials that do not have a pouch. It can be found only in the southwestern parts of Australia. Numbat usually inhabits eucalyptus forests and grasslands. Numbats are listed as vulnerable (nearly endangered) due to accelerated habitat loss and introduction of new species, such as foxes and cats into their natural habitat. According to the latest analysis, less than 1500 numbats are left in the wild.
Interesting Numbat Facts:
Numbat is a small marsupial. Males are slightly larger than females, but females have longer tail. On average, numbat can reach the length between 13 and 18 inches, and weight between 9.9 and 19 ounces.
Numbat's body is covered with red-brownish fur with white stripes on their back.
Numbat has pointed head and sticky tongue, designed for feeding on termites. Besides termites, numbat eats ants and other insects. Numbat is diurnal (active during the day) species.
Numbat cannot destroy termite mound. Instead, it searches for the secret entrances into the mounds, and waits for termites to appear. During the summer, termites are the most active during the morning and late in the afternoon. During the winter, termites leave the mound in the middle of the day. Numbat follows the same routine.
Numbat can eat up to 20 000 termites per day, which equals 10% of its own weight.
Numbat is often called "banded anteater" because of the specific coloration of the coat and the type of diet. Other than food, numbats and anteaters do not have many things in common (they are not genetically related).
Because of their small size, numbats are easy prey for many predators. They spend the night hidden in the hollow logs and burrows.
Main predators of numbat are foxes, dingos, snakes, birds of prey and cats. After introduction of foxes, cats and dogs into their habitat, number of numbats decreased drastically.
Numbats are territorial animals. Home range can be 370 acres wide.
Numbats are solitary creatures that gather only during mating season.
Mating season takes place from January to May. Pregnancy lasts only couple of weeks and ends usually with four, poorly developed, babies.
Even though females do not have pouch, babies spend first couple of months (up to 5 months) of their life attached to the tits on the mother's belly. Instead of pouch, long hairs on the belly protect babies.
After couple of months (when babies become stronger) mother builds a nest in the burrow where babies will continue their development. Young numbats will play in the burrow while their mother is outside, searching for food.
In the late spring, numbats are big enough to leave their mother and to establish their own territories.
Average lifespan of a numbat is between 4 and 8 years in captivity.

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