Wombat Classification & Species
Southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) (courtesy of Wendy Morphett, used with permission)
Wombats are mammals, warm-blooded, fur-bearing animals. They are classified as marsupials because they give birth to very small immature young which must remain in the mother's pouch for many months to nurse and develop. Wombats belong to their own family, Vombatidae. The nearest living relative to the wombat is the koala but they are not closely related.
The name "wombat" comes from the Australian aboriginal word "vomat" or "wombach."
FAMILY:Vombatidae. In older references the family was sometimes called phascolomyidae (also spelled Phascolomidae).
GENERA & SPECIES:
Although wombats have sometimes been classified into numerous species and subspecies, it is now generally accepted that there are only three distinct species left.
- Vombatus ursinus (Bare-nosed or Common wombat) Sometimes called Phascolomis ursinus
- Vombatus ursinus hirsutus (Mainland Bare-nosed or Common wombat subspecies)
- Vombatus ursinus tasmaniensis (Tasmanian wombat subspecies)
- Vombatus ursinus ursinus (Flinders Island wombat subspecies)
The Latin names used to describe various wombat species have the following meanings:
"Hirsutus"means shaggy or coarse hair
"Latifrons"means broad-fronted or broad-forehead