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Native to Australia and Tasmania, the common wombat or coarse-haired wombat (Vombatus ursinus) lives from 5 to 26 years. However, only wombats in zoos reach the age of 26.
The wombat is a marsupial, meaning that the females of the species have a pouch in which the undeveloped offspring complete their development. A wombat looks like a small, stout bear. It stands between 2.3 and 4 feet (70 and 120 centimeters) tall and weighs between 33 and 77 pounds (15 and 35 kilograms). Its rough fur ranges from yellowish buff, to gray, to dark brown or black. The wombat is shy, lives in a burrow, and is an active digger.
The wombat is like a rodent in its manner of feeding and in its tooth structure. Wombats dine mostly on grasses, roots, mushrooms, fresh shoots, and green plants. A wombat's teeth have no roots and grow continuously to compensate for their wear.
Sources: The Complete Encyclopedia of the Animal World, p. 261; Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals, 2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 342-43.
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