Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Peramelemorphia (bandicoots and bilbies) consists of 22 species that are divided among 8 genera and 3 families: Peramelidae (bandicoots and echymiperas), Chaeropodidae (pig-footed bandicoot), and Thylacomyidae (bilbies). They have a rodent-like appearance with short legs, a stocky body, a short neck, and a long, pointy nose. They are largely nocturnal, and possess a well-developed sense of smell and eyes that are well adapted for night vision. Most peramelemorphs have brownish-red or tan fur and are sometimes marked with stripes. Long, rabbit-like ears also characterize some species. They range in size from less than 100 grams to over 5 kilograms, though most are about the size of a rabbit or smaller. Peramelemorphs are omnivores that eat mainly insects, but also consume a variety of vegetable material and some vertebrates as well. They occupy a wide range of habitats throughout Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania and the surrounding islands.