Specimen of the Month – Long-nosed bandicoot

Specimen of the Month
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Long-nosed Bandicoot ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ข
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This monthโ€™s specimen is the Long-nosed Bandicoot, known scientifically as ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ข. The name translates from Greek and Latin as โ€˜long-nosed pouched badgerโ€™ โ€“ but of course, bandicoots are marsupials, raising their young in a pouch (incidentally, the common name โ€˜bandicootโ€™ comes from a large species of rodent that occurs in southeast Asia). This specimen is a juvenile, with adults growing to about the size of a small rabbit. Long-nosed bandicoots are omnivorous marsupials, feeding on insects, fleshy plant roots (tubers) and fungi โ€“ especially the underground fungi known as โ€˜trufflesโ€™. They are active from dusk to dawn, digging tell-tale cone-shaped holes in their search for food. These holes are dug with the front feet and are large enough for the bandicootโ€™s long, sensitive snout to reach in and detect its invertebrate prey. Because of their digging habits, bandicoots have a backward-opening pouch so that pouch young donโ€™t get a face full of dirt. During the day, Long-nosed bandicoots can be found in a well-concealed nest that consists of a shallow depression in the ground, lined with grass and leaves. The nest is often partly covered with soil and other debris.
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Long-nosed Bandicoots have a wide distribution in eastern Australia, from tropical north Queensland, throughout coastal New South Wales and into Victoria. They have been recorded in a wide range of habitats, including rainforest, wet and dry woodlands, and heathland, and have also been observed to forage in open urban land and farmland.