May 30, 2024

Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful geological marvels and also world’s most weirdly stunning creatures. We all have seen pictures of this alluring country on instagram and pinterest and found ourselves tempted to visit Australia.

What i love about Australia is that there is lot to explore from oceans to fresh water lakes to desserts to jungles, all home to amazing, weird, cute and dangerous animals. Today I want to talk about a certain unique animal who looks like the cutest and cuddliest love child between a bear and an otter. Yes, it’s the Vombatus ursinus or locally known as the common Australia wombat.

These cuddly wombats are mammals who can grow to be 40 inches (about a meter) and can weigh as heavy as 35 kgs. Additionally, they are capable of reaching a speed of 40 km per hour, when and if threatened. Sure these animals look very adorable, but in the right situation, they are very fierce and dangerous. 

Wombats are very unique creatures and I find 2 things about them very intriguing and that’s why I wanted to write about them.

Like all marsupials they have a pouch but this pouch opens towards their butt so that it doesn’t fill with dirt and sand when they dig.

The other intriguing feature, and I am sure that it will interest everyone, is that they poop cubes. They literally poop 2 cm cubes and they poop uoto 100 times every night.

Yes, I know this is very amusing and I am sure you all might be wondering how and why. 

Wombats have a circular rectum so logically their poop should be squeezed into cylindrical shaped poop like all other animals including us. Unique to mammals and nature, wombats have an intestine with walls of varied elasticity which squeeze their poop into 2 cm separate cubes.

Now to answer the why part. Scientists don’t have a very definite answer to why wombats have cubic poop. One postulate is that they use their poop to mark their territory and the cube shape prevents the poop from rolling away. An other postulate is that wombats stack their poop in order to communicate with other wombats and attract mates. The third postulate, the most logical out of the three, states that the cube shape is the result of wombats trying to squeeze all moisture out of their food which is helpful because they live in a dry and hot environment.

 Patricia Yang, a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology researching about wombats, said that cubes are very rare in nature. She also said that humans, currently, have only 2 ways of manufacturing cubes either by molding soft materials or by cutting hard materials. But wombats have a third way.

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