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Odonvomb

Picture by Tim Morris

The huge ground marsupial animal, the descendant of the Australian wombats (Vombatus). During evolution the animal has increased in size, has replaced partially digging mode of life to completely ground and began more aggressive. The solitary animal, but during migrations animals of this species gather to big herds (up to hundred individuals).

Length of a body is up to 3 meters, weight up to 1 ton. Animal has a large head, short jaws and the strong, constantly growing teeth adapted for chewing of a rigid grass. In the bottom jaw there are tusks - second pair of the powerful incisors directed forward. At the closed mouth their ends jut outside. Roots of tusks pass along all jaw, due to this feature tusks are capable to maintain the big loadings: they are used for digging of the ground in searches of roots, tearing grass bunches out of ground. The animal is willingly fed near lakes, digging out in shallow waters of a rhizome of reed and water lily tubers. In case of an attack the animal uses tusks as the terrible weapon, capable to break a skull to a predator. Also for protection against large predators of Neocaenic Australia the skin formed thick shell, covering shoulders and a back; thickness of a skin in these places can be about 6 - 8 cm. Wool is short, on sides and a head it is chestnut-coloured, on a ridge there passes a longitudinal black strip, along the external side of each paw there is the vertical black strip reaching a ridge. On a muzzle above eyes there are pair of big white spots. A tail is short, the marsupium is well advanced, it opens back.

Odvombat

Initial image - pictured by Pavel Volkov

In a breeding season the male and the female keep some weeks as a breeding pair and feed together. Female gives birth only to 1 - 2 cubs once in 2 years. They spend very long time (about 8 months later) in a marsupium and later start to graze near to mother, but suck milk approximately up to one-year-old age. The female protects cubs before they will be one and a half year old, for this time they intensively grow and put on weight up to 200 kg. Sexual maturity at the age of 4 years.

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