The unique Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) is a highly specialised marsupial that is native to parts of Australia. An endangered species it is under threat from habitat loss and predation by feral cats and foxes. They are also vulnerable to birds of prey such as wedge-tailed eagles.
An diurnal animal (active during the day) whose diet consists almost exclusively of termites, of which they eat up to 20,000 termites a day. Numbats do not need to drink water, as they get enough water from the termites they eat.
It is a small mammal, with a pointed shape head, small upright ears, short legs with long claws and a wonderful looking long bushy tail. This slender animal is a grey-brown to reddish in colouration with back stripe across its eyes and black and white banding across the back and rump.
Numbats eats termites exclusively with a long, slender sticky tongue. The tongue is approximately 10–11 cm long. They consume up to 20,000 termites a day. Numbats do not need to drink water because they get enough water from the termites they eat.
Other names include Walpurti, Noombat and the Banded Anteater.
Images © Ausemade PL
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Infraclass: Marsupialia
- Order: Dasyuromorphia
- Family: Myrmecobiidae
- Genus: Myrmecobius
- Species: M. fasciatus
- Binomial name: Myrmecobius fasciatus
M. fasciatus fasciatus
M. fasciatus rufus (extinct)
Footnote & References
- Project Numbat, http://www.numbat.org.au/thenumbat
- Numbat, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, https://www.australianwildlife.org/wildlife/numbat/
- Numbat Myrmecobius fasciatus, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Government of Western Australia, https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/plants-animals/animals/animal_profiles/numbat_fauna_profile.pdf