Wombat, a mammal of Australia. It is a marsupial, an animal whose young mature and nurse in a pouch on the female's abdomen. The wombat has small eyes and ears; short, stocky legs; and a short tail. It is two to four feet (60 to 120 cm) long and weighs up to 60 pounds (27 kg). It sleeps in an underground burrow during the day, emerging at night to feed on grass, roots, bark, and fungi. There are three species of wombats. The common, or coarse-haired, wombat has coarse buff, black, or gray hair. The nose is bare and the ears are rounded. The southern hairy-nosed wombat has a soft coat that is dappled gray, black, or brown. It has a hairy nose and pointed ears. The northern hairy-nosed wombat resembles the southern species. Due to loss of habitat it is in danger of extinction.

Which Marsupial Is an Expert Tunnel-Digger?

Wombats have large, chubby bodies and short legs. They have sharp claws on their front feet that are great for digging. Wombats live in burrows under the ground. They dig tunnels with their front feet and push the soil out of the way with their hind feet. Some wombat burrow systems have measured more than 100 feet (30 meters) in length.

Wombats are very shy animals. In fact, they like to hide. They spend most of their time in tunnels underground.

Like koalas and many other marsupials, wombats have pouches that open to the rear of the body. This way, mother wombats can dig without getting soil in their pouches.

Wombats belong to the family Vombatidae. The common wombat is Vombatus ursinus; the southern hairy-nosed, Lasiorhinus latifrons; the northern hairy-nosed, L. kreffti.