Scientific Name:
Myrmecobius fasciatus
Other Names and/or Listed subspecies:
Banded Anteater
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: December 2, 1970
EN-IUCN: 2008
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:

The numbat is a marsupial and is also called the banded anteater. This animal is unique because it belongs to its own family, and unlike many other marsupials it is mainly active in the day instead of night. The numbat has a reddish-brown coat with white stripes on its back. There is a dark bar that crosses its eye from its ear to its snout. It has a long head and bushy tail.

Numbats eat termites requiring them to dig in termite holes using their sharp claws and long sticky tongues and eating them whole. They are mainly solitary except when it is time to mate or when the females care for their young. Numbats make their own shelters by digging and nesting leaves, bark and grass in hollow logs. Numbat females do not have pouches so the young must cling to the front of the female and the surround hair. The young are fed at night and are often moved between nests mounted on the mothers back.

Numbats were once widely distributed throughout southern Australia, but are now only found in Western Australia, and the estimated population is around 2000. Their numbers have decreased mainly because of the introduction of the red fox and loss of habitat.

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