Hairy-Nosed Wombat: The Saddest Looking Marsupial on Earth

The hairy-nosed wombat is one of the saddest looking creatures in the world. It’s a marsupial, and one of its unique features is a backwards facing pouch that allows it to dig without getting dirt in its pouch. The hairy-nosed wombat looks like a sad, slow creature but is intensely determined in the defense of itself and its burrow.

Hairy-nosed wombatPhoto: Eva Hejda

This wombat is about a meter long and has a tough hide; it has an armor plated backside, even though you can’t see it easily. It also has an incredibly slow metabolism which means it can go long periods without water; its digestion takes 8 days to process a single drop of water.

These social animals live five or six to a burrow and when attacked they can actually crush the skull of a predator – normally dingos or Tasmanian devils. The wombat lets its attacker force its head over its back and then uses its strong hindlegs to crush the predator’s skull against the roof of its burrow.

Hairy-nosed wombats live for approximately 5 years in the wild, but the oldest known individual lived to the age of 34 in a zoo in Chicago. Grasses are their main diet with some moss or lichens in addition.

This wombat’s squat, heavy and compact body can bowl over adult humans if it is provoked and charges. Its also has a powerful bite that has been known to go through boots, trousers and skin. Make no mistake, its melancholy expression disguises a determined and able fighter when cornered.