Me and my undying love for wombats.
The Wombats (family Vombatidae)
by Animal Diversity Web staff
This family of metatheria contains 2 genera and 3 species, all Australian. They are medium to large size animals (19-39 kg) with a stocky body, short limbs, small ears, and a very short tail. The head is compactly built and is used in constructing tunnels. The limbs are especially powerfully, with short broad feet and strong, flat claws. Posture is plantigrade. Wombats are burrowers, building impressive burrow systems with many burrows. Some burrows exceed 20 m in length.
(Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, by ZakVTA)
Wombats have a remarkably rodent-like skull. They have a single pair of incisors. These teeth are heavily built and rodent-like in form. Also like the incisors of rodents, the incisors of wombats have enamel on anterior and lateral surfaces only. The pouch of wombats is well developed, but it is oriented so that it opens to the rear, rather than forward as is more usual in marsupials. The embryo forms an allantoic placenta, as is true of at least some peramelids and koalas but not other marsupials.
Wombats are strictly herbivorous grazers; they have a simple stomach and a short, broad cecum. They are most closely related to the Koalas. During the Pleistocene, herds of giant wombats the size of a rhinoceros roamed the plains of southern Australia…
(read more: EOL)
(images: T - Common Wombat, by Muzina Shanghai; B - from Brehms Thierleben, 1883)