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Hairy-Nosed Wombat

GENUS: Lasiorhinus

CLASSIFICATION:

There are two or three species of Hairy nosed wombats, depending on how they're classified. There are only two living species, the Southern Hairy nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons), and the Northern Hairy nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii).

SIZE:

There seems to be some dispute as to whether the average Hairy-nosed wombat is smaller or larger than the average Common or Bare-nosed wombat. Northern hairy nosed wombats tend to be larger than Southern hairy nosed wombats. When full-grown, head and body length is 75 to 102 cm (29 to 40 inches), with a tail of 2.5 to 6 cm (1 to 2.4 inches). Weight ranges from 18 to 40 kg (40 to 88 pounds).

Southern hairy-nosed wombat body

Hairy-nosed wombat (pictures this page courtesy of Wendy Morphett)

PHYSICAL TRAITS:

As might be expected, the Hairy-nosed wombat's nose is hairy--covered with fur. This fur is soft and short, usually white or brown. The nose itself is soft and somewhat like a pig's. The fur that covers the wombat's body is fine and silky, softer than the Bare-nosed wombat's, and has a well-developed underfur.

Coloration is silver-grey, black, or brown. The brown can vary from very dark to very light, and possible even white on occasion. The color variations of the Northern hairy-nosed wombat seems to be wider than that of its Southern cousin. The fur often has light or dark patches or is streaked. The neck and underbelly are usually white or grey. Like the Bare-nosed wombat, the Hairy-nosed wombat's true color is often masked by the color of the dirt in which they've been digging.

The Hairy nosed wombat's head is more angular, and nose much broader, than the Bare-nosed wombat's. The Hairy nosed wombat's ears are larger, longer, and more pointed. Additionally, the back is not as sloped as a Bare-nosed wombat.

The upper lip of a Hairy-nosed wombat is cleft which allows them to eat vegetation very close to the ground.

Southern hairy nosed wombat head

The Hairy-nosed wombat's head is distinct from that of the Bare-nosed wombat

NOTES:

Despite the fact that Hairy nosed wombats live in colonies, they have a population density similar to that of the Bare-nosed wombat, about 0.2 per hectare (0.1 per acre). Like the Bare-nosed wombat, they also seem to be solitary with each wombat living in its own burrow and having its own feeding area.

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Individual wombats have a home range of about 2.5 hectare to 4 hectares (5 to 8.5 acres) which is usually centered on their warren.

Unlike most mammals, it's the young female who leaves the area where they were born, while the males remain.



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