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Bandicoot


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Bandicoots are pointy-nosed marsupials from Australia and New Guinea. There are 19 different species of bandicoots that live in plains, forests, and deserts. The bandicoot's pouch faces backwards so that dirt doesn't enter the pouch. These burrowing mammals are in danger of extinction.

Bandicoots are nocturnal (most active at night). Digging with strong, clawed feet, these solitary mammals excavate long, complex burrows. The bilby (also known as the rabbit-eared bandicoot) digs underground dens that are up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long.

Anatomy: Bandicoots range from 11-32 inches (28-81 cm) long with an 8 inch (20 cm) tail. They have powerful, clawed hind legs.

Diet: The bandicoot is an omnivore (eating both plants and animals). It eats insects (like termites), lizards, mice, worms, snails, fruit, seeds, and some plants. Bandicoots need very little water; they get the water they need from their food. They obtain food mostly at dawn and at dusk.

Predators: Bandicoots are hunted by foxes and feral cats (cats that have reverted to the wild). Bandicoots retreat into their burrow for protection.

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