Common Wombat
(Vombatus ursinus) #64-11

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Physical characteristics and distribution

Head and body length is 700-1200 mm, the tail being a stub. Adults weigh between 15-35 kg. Color ranges from a buffy yellow, silver gray, light gray, dark brown or black. The fur is coarse and harsh. The nose is hairless and the ears are small and rounded. V. ursinus, as well as the genus Lasiorhinus, are the only two living marsupials to possess two rootless incisors in each jaw, a feature also found in rodents. There is an odd gland patch present in the lesser curvature of the stomach. This patch is also found in the Koala and the Beaver. On the female, the patch has a posterior opening and contains two mammae.

Common Wombats prefer upland forests, especially in rocky areas. The nests are constructed about 2-4 meters from a tunnel entrance and is lined with vegetation. There may be a complex network of tunnels associated with the nesting chamber. V. ursinus is primarily nocturnal, though it has been observed sunning itself.

The diet consists of grasses, roots and fungi, preferring fresh seed stems. It uses its forefeet to grasp and tear the vegetation.

They are solitary, except for the breeding season. Births are thought to occur in late autumn and the young are believed to be independent by the following summer. A single young is most often born, but twins are known to occur. V. ursinus reaches sexual maturity at two years.

The single species, V. ursinus, is found in E New South Wales, S Victoria, SE South Australia, Tasmania, islands in the Bass Strait, and extreme SE
Queensland (Australia).

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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