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Numbat


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The Numbat (Myremecobius fasciatus) is a pouchless marsupial from open woodlands in western Australia. Also called the banded anteater, it is one of the few marsupials that is diurnal (most active during the day). At night, they take shelter in hollow logs. These solitary, long-tailed termite-eaters are in danger of extinction; very few remain in the wild. The numbat has a life span of 5-6 years in captivity.

Anatomy: The numbat is about 16 inches (41 cm) long, including the tail. It has reddish brown fur that is lighter on the belly. There are prominent white and dark-brown stripes along the numbat's back. It has a long, bushy tail, often carried erect. Each animal has unique, individual markings.

Diet: The numbat is an insectivore (eating insects). It eats mostly termites. An adult numbat eats about 20,000 termites each day.

Predators: The numbat is hunted by foxes, feral cats (cats that have reverted to the wild), dogs, and birds of prey. The numbat will retreat to a hollow log when a predator threatens.

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