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Slip, slop, slap

July 6, 2016
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DSCN7480A marsupium (from the Greek marsupion meaning pouch) is a specialised pouch for protecting, carrying and nourishing newborn young. Animals which have one are called marsupials. In some marsupials such as kangaroos the marsupium is a fully developed pouch. In other marsupials the marsupium is simply a flap of skin.

For marsupials that perambulate on all fours close to the ground, for example wombats, the pouch faces backwards (see picture left) – you can just imagine a forward facing pouch scooping up all sorts of debris. A previous post has featured a photo that clearly shows a young wombat peering out from the backward facing pouch.

IMG_0248Young wombats when old enough to leave the pouch looks very much like, but a smaller version of, the parents (pictured right). They are haired and eat grass but still rely on sustenance from the mother. Before they get to that stage the young wombats are pink and hairless and depend entirely on the protection and nourishment offered in the mother’s pouch. At this age they are commonly referred to as pinkies.

Baby Wombat
Chris, our local landcare facilitator, recently found a dead wombat on the side of our road. The animal had been killed by a car. Examining the body he found a ‘pinky’ still alive in the pouch (pictured left). Pinkies rarely live if the mother is killed. However the local wildlife carer it was taken to thought this one was sufficiently advanced in age to survive with the proper attention.

Let’s hope it grows some hair before summer otherwise it’s definitely a case of sunscreen and a hat for the little critter.

One Comment leave one →
  1. ccobern permalink
    July 6, 2016 7:31 am

    The baby wombat is being cared for by Tanja Nagy from the Pheasant Creek Wildlife Shelter.
    For any emergency situations involving wildlife phone Tanja on 0419 030 687.

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