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Southern brown bandicoot

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Southern brown bandicoot
Southen brown bandicoot1.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Isoodon obesulus

800px-Isoodon obesulus.jpg
A southern brown bandicoot on a West Australian road.

The southern brown bandicoot is a species of marsupial rodent known by the scientific name Isoodon obesulus . They are the last surviving species of naturally occurring bandicoots in South Australia. It is an average sized marsupial that tends to live in bunches rather than large nesting areas. [2]

Body Design

A female bandicoot from Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The southern brown bandicoot is an medium sized ground dwelling marsupial. Its fur is a grey-brown color. The feet are a creamy white color. Southern brown bandicoots have forelegs that are short with curved claw. The hind legs are much longer than the front legs. They have a long tapered snout with a nose that is naked. It has a short tail that attaches to its compact body. Like most animals the male is larger than the female. Male southern brown bandicoots are usually 33 cm long, and female southern brown bandicoot are around 30 cm long. Thus the average tail length of the male southern brown bandicoot would be 12.4 cm. The average tail length of the female southern brown bandicoot is 11.3 cm long. [3]

Life Cycle

The Southern brown bandicoot is a marsupial with a breeding season of the southern brown bandicoot can last from the beginning of winter until the end of summer. The female southern brown bandicoot has a short gestation (pregnancy) period of about 15 days at which time the neonates (newborns) enter the pouch and have a pouch life of about 2 months. The weight of the newborns is about 105-140 grams. The female southern brown bandicoots are able to become pregnant even before the first litter is done with its suckling. This means they can constantly be producing young. This makes the total capacity of reproduction in the southern brown bandicoot very high. The male southern brown bandicoot can continue to grown until the end of its life, but the female southern brown bandicoot will normally finish growing at the age of 18 to 24 months. Although adult female southern brown bandicoots are capable of producing six offspring per litter, the average is around two to four. The southern brown bandicoots diet consists mainly of ants, beetle larvae, and plant material. [4]

Ecology

A Southern Brown Bandicoot at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens.

Southern brown bandicoots have many different habitats. Some of these include: heath land, shrub land, sedge land, open forest, and wood land. As for a nesting place, the southern brown bandicoot will often build a nest out of leaves and grass. They do not need to drink much water. They obtain their hydration from dew and dietary items such as fungal fruit-bodies. [5]

Conservation Status

The southern brown bandicoot is definitively endangered. It is most significantly threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. Most of its habitat is really small and scattered bunches. They are endangered because not only do they have their natural predators that include: snakes and birds of prey, but they also have to defend themselves from introduced predators such as foxes, dogs, and cats. Road kill is also a big factor in the mortality rate of southern brown bandicoots. [6]

Video

References