What? A Wombat?

by Edgardo Gubelin on May 4, 2016

On a recent trip to the Jenolan Caves with a German client, I was heartbroken to pass a dead wombat lying on the side of the road that had been been knocked over by a car. And then sadly, another one within a short period of time. One normally never sees wombats during the day, as they are nocturnal and come out to graze after dusk. And seems like they nibble on the grass verges alongside the roads.

So, when I got home that evening, I decided to investigate what the Wombat’s dietary needs were. Australian native grasses and the roots of some shrubs, seems to be their staple diet. Wombats dig underground burrows, to set up home. What fascinated me was that the wombat’s pouch (being marsupial) was back to front which prevents it from filling up with sand, when digging its burrow. I was blown away, when I realized how mother nature had thought of everything!

Reading on, I was more fascinated to find out that the Koala was its closest relative and for a moment, I tried to visualise a wombat climbing a tree. A weird thought then went through my mind. Surely, that despite these two marsupials, being so closely related, there was no doubt in my mind that the Koala, which spends its entire life in the canopies of the eucalyptus trees, would no doubt have its pouch facing upwards to avoid its young joey from falling out…

Mother nature, yes back to her. It seems that when she created the Koala, it must have been at the end of a very busy week, as she sewed the pouch on back to front. I have never seen a baby Koala falling out of a tree, maybe thats because mother nature quickly recovered and slipped a strong “sphincter muscle” at the opening of the pouch to prevent the joey from falling out!

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