V is for Vombatus ursinus! Cryptic wombats, and their roll-proof poo. #MelaleucaMiscellany

The wombats of Melaleuca are a cryptic lot, known only by their rather ambitious toilet habits.  Over the whole month we were in Melaleuca, I didn’t see a single wombat, probably because they are nocturnal, and I am not.  However, I did see a lot of wombat poo.

So boxy!  Wombat poo photo from Bjørn Christian Tørrissen http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html

So boxy! Wombat poo photo from Bjørn Christian Tørrissen http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html

Wombat toilet habits are unusual in two respects;

1. Wombat poo is cube-shaped.  I’m not quite sure how they manage this, but wombats manage to produce remarkably neat, flat-edged poos, which allows them to

2. Balance them on top of things!  Wombats like to poo at height, on rocks and logs, to mark their territories.  There was one at Melaleuca which regularly chose to ornament the boardwalk directly beneath the interpretation signage next to the airstrip.

As well as being talented toileters, wombats are also immune to ugly lights, and occasionally, unpredictably violent, towards both zoologists (perhaps deservedly), and also poets (completely uncalled for).

wednesday-wombat

Mmm, chocolate!

As I failed to see any wombats in Melaleuca, here is a picture of one that used to live at my house.

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