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Striped Mammals Week: Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus)

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 by in Marsupials, Theme Weeks | 5 comments

Coming soon: 24-Hour Mammalthon II! Stay tuned!

Myrmecobius fasciatus

Number 0130

The numbat is a small marsupial that lives in western Australia. Although it’s also known as the banded anteater, it eats nothing but termites—about 20,000 a day. Numbats can’t break into termite mounds on their own, so they have to adjust their schedules to fit the termites’—sleeping when they sleep and hunting when the termites are out and about. Then it’s a termite feast for our mammal friends.

Numbats are currently classified as threatened by the IUCN, but luckily, they’re making a comeback. The problem was introduced predators, especially foxes, combined with the usual habitat destruction that is the scourge of mammal species everywhere (except for one). Thanks to fox-trapping and relocation efforts, the numbat population is now growing.


  1. yay! it’s back! now i’m going to have to decide what mammal i want this time…

  2. Ditto the yay! Glad to see a new posting on the blog. :)

  3. I’m glad you are back on line. This is a great little animal. I love the drawing.

  4. Thanks, everybody! I wondered if anyone was still waiting. I’m glad you were!

  5. This is one of your best. The depth in the head (and the eye!)’s uncanny!

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