Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What is a Numbat?

The numbat is a small marsupial that is found only in a small area of Western Australia. Its habitat is eucalyptus woodland. In the past, it was also found in grasslands. The numbat is the only marsupial that feeds only on insects. It has a long thin sticky tongue that it flicks into holes where termites are. The insects stick to the numbat's tongue and are taken into the mouth. Unlike other ant-eating mammals, the numbat does not have strong claws for tearing apart termite nests. It scrabbles at the soil to find the corridors that termites make to travel along. The numbat's body is about 24 cm long, and it has a brushy tail about 17 cm long. Its fur is reddish-brown, with white stripes across its back. It has a narrow head with a pointy muzzle. It is one of the few marsupials that is active during the day. It sleeps in hollow fallen logs, and sometimes may dig a burrow. The numbat is unusual because it is a marsupial without a pouch. Males and females mate around December. In January, females give birth to up to 4 young which they carry for about 5 months, then keep in a nest for about 5 months. The numbat is rare and endangered. Its numbers have been reduced by habitat loss and by the introduction of non-native predators like the house cat and fox.

No comments: