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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

The Nimble Numbat-People of Australia

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Like koala- and kangaroo-people, we numbat-people are found only in Australia. We have a pointed face with small, round-tipped ears, a tiny nose, and an exceptionally long tongue. Our body is slender with a bushy tail, which is commonly the first thing humans notice about us.

Our coat starts as reddish brown behind the neck, then fades to grayish black toward the rump. But that coloration is just the background for a set of distinguishing white stripes that wrap around the back from side to side. We also have a black stripe on either side of our face, from snout to ear. If you include our tail, we measure between 35 and 45 centimeters in length, while our weight can range from 280 to 700 grams.

We might choose a hollow log or decide to go a few meters underground by digging a burrow. Either way, at the far end of our nest, we will prepare a cozy bed made of grass and other leaves, pieces of bark, feathers, and flowers. We are reclusive by nature and will even avoid other numbat-people to maintain our solitary lifestyle.

Another difference between us and other marsupials is that our females don’t have a pouch for carrying their young. Following a gestation period of 15 days, a pregnant mom will typically give birth to four pink and hairless babies. The tiny newborns cling to the fur surrounding their mother’s teats and remain there for about five months or until they are too big to be carried around.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed our species as Endangered starting in 1982. AWC has established four large and fenced areas for mammals like us numbat-people. If you haven’t already switched to a healthy and sustainable vegan diet, it’s a significant step you can take to help the planet and everyone on it. Plant-based eating conserves bioregions and natural habitats because growing vegan food uses less space and fewer resources than manufacturing edible products from animal-people.

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