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Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus).—Warren Garst/Tom Stack and Associates
Either of two species (family Vombatidae) of nocturnal Australian marsupials that are heavily built, 28–47 in. (70–120 cm) long, and tailless. The single newborn develops in the mother's pouch for about five months. Wombats eat grasses, tree bark, and shrub roots. They make a grassy nest at the end of a long burrow. The common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, considered a pest, has coarse dark hair and short ears. The rare Queensland hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus barnardi) has fine fur and longer ears; protected by law, the population lives principally in a national park.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on wombat, visit Britannica.com.