bandicoot


bandicoot

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Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta).—Warren Garst—Tom Stack and Associates

Any of about 22 species of marsupials (family Peramelidae) found in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and nearby islands. Bandicoots are 12–30 in. (30–80 cm) long, including the 4- to 12-in. (10– to 30-cm) sparsely haired tail. They have a stout, coarse-haired body, a tapered muzzle, and hindlimbs longer than their forelimbs. Unlike other marsupials, bandicoots have a placenta. They are terrestrial, solitary animals that dig pits to search for insect and plant food. Farmers consider them pests. All species have declined, and some are now endangered.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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