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Bandicoots are medium-sized, terrestrial marsupials that only live in the Australia – New Guinea region. There are approximately 20 species of bandicoot. Because they are prey for many animals, they usually stay hidden during the day, and become active only at night.
See the fact file below for more information on the bandicoots or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Bandicoot worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The bandicoot is a member of the order Peramelemorphia, and the word “bandicoot” is often used informally to refer to any peramelemorph, such as the bilby. Bilbies, or rabbit-bandicoots, are desert-dwelling marsupial omnivores. At the time of the European colonisation of Australia, there were two species. The lesser bilby become extinct in the 1950s. The greater bilby still lives today but remains endangered.
- The term “bandicoot” originally referred to the unrelated Indian bandicoot rat from Telugu language word Pandikokku.
- Most marsupials, including bandicoots, have a bifurcated penis. Bandicoots have the body shape of a large rat, though they have a much longer, pointed nose, larger ears, and a long, thin tail.
- They are about the size of a rabbit, and have long, powerful hind legs, which they use to hop around in a rabbit-like way. At other times, they walk on all four legs.
- Male bandicoots are often twice the size of females.
- Their bodies are covered with fur that, depending on the species, can be black, brown, gray, golden, or white.
- Bandicoots have at least 4 distinct vocalizations:
- a high-pitched, bird-like noise used to locate one another
- when irritated, they will make make a “whuff, whuff” noise
- when feeling threatened or alarmed, they will make a loud “chuff, chuff” noise and loud whistling squeak at the same time
- when in pain or experiencing fear, they make a loud shriek.
- The classification of bandicoots within the Peramelemorphia used to be simple. They were thought to be two families in the order — the short-legged and mostly herbivorous bandicoots, and the longer-legged, nearly carnivorous bilbies.
- First, the bandicoots of the New Guinean and far-northern Australian rainforests were deemed distinct from all other bandicoots and were grouped together in the separate family Peroryctidae.
- More recently, the bandicoot families were reunited in Peramelidae, with the New Guinean species split into four genera in two subfamilies, Peroryctinae and Echymiperinae, while the “true bandicoots” occupy the subfamily Peramelinae. The only exception is the now extinct pig-footed bandicoot, which has been given its own family, Chaeropodidae.
- Because of their small size, bandicoots are hunted by many predators. To increase their chances of escape when being chased, they often live within thick vegetation in forests, swamps, thickets, and dense grasslands.
- Bandicoots are strictly terrestrial, which means they live on the ground, never in trees.
- They are also territorial, and males defend an area of approximately 17 acres (7 hectares). When defending their territory, males stand on their hind legs and scratch at each other. Both males and females live solitary lives, only interacting with others for mating.
- Bandicoots rest during the day in a nest they build from leaves, twigs, and soil in a shallow dip they create. These nests are sometimes built in rabbit warrens.
- The bandicoot’s keen sense of smell and hearing means it is able to detect prey underground, which it quickly digs up with its strong front paws and pointy snout.
- They are omnivorous – studies have found them to eat everything from spiders and slaters to fungi and fruits. One of their favorites is the pink ground-berry.
- Bandicoots have one of the shortest pregnancies (gestation period) of all mammals, as the babies are born after just 12 days.
- The second and third toes on each hind foot, which they use for grooming like a comb, are fused together.
- Unlike other marsupials, the pouch opens backwards. This helps keep dirt from getting into the pouch with the babies.
- The babies, called “joeys”, are only 0.5 in (13 mm) long when they are born.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about bandicoots across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bandicoot worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the bandicoots which are medium-sized, terrestrial marsupials that only live in the Australia – New Guinea region. There are approximately 20 species of bandicoot. Because they are prey for many animals, they usually stay hidden during the day, and become active only at night.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bandicoot Facts
- Fill Me In
- Whuff! Whuff!
- Five More
- Their Nest, Their Home
- Good or Trash?
- Bandi House Pets
- Food Pics
- Crash Bandicoot
- He Defends
- I Search
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Link will appear as Bandicoot Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 6, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.