Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
Wombats are Australian marsupials, and the common wombat is, naturally, the most common of the three wombat species. Common wombats live along the coast of southeastern Australia, in alpine areas and sandy places. The wombats’ claim to fame is that they are the only known large, herbivorous burrowing mammals: all the other burrowing herbivores are small, and all the other large burrowers are carnivores or insectivores. That’s because being a herbivore requires a lot of time and energy spent on foraging (don’t I know it), and being a burrower requires a lot of time and energy spent on digging. Large herbivores usually don’t have that kind of free time.
And wombats are large! The common wombat ranges from about 50 pounds to nearly 90, or about the size of a pretty-big dog to about the size of a really big dog. They look like they’d be about rabbit-sized, or at least they do to me, but no, they’re humongous. However, they have extraordinarily slow metabolisms and really don’t need to eat much at all: only about half as much as a kangaroo does, and a kangaroo weighs about the same as a wombat. That means the wombat can nocturnally forage at its leisure and spend most of its time lazing underground.
Coco drew a wombat, too!