A Rhizophaga. In this section is the well-known Australian animal the Wombat (Phascolomys fossor), often called by the colonists the "badger." The Wombat is a stout, heavy animal, which attains a length of from two to three feet. The legs are very short and stout, and the animal burrows with ease by means of strong, curved digging-claws, with which the fore-feet are furnished. The tail in the Wombat is quite rudimentary, and the whole body is clothed with a brown woolly hair. In its dentition (fig. 361) the Wombat presents a curious resemblance to the herbivorous Rodents. There are two incisors in each jaw, and these are long and rootless, growing from permanent pulps. There are no canines, so that the incisors and praemolars are separated by a considerable space. The dental formula is The premolars and molars agree with the incisors in growing from permanent pulps, in which respect the Wombat differs from all the other Marsupials, and agrees with the herbivorous Rodents, with those Edentata which have teeth, and with the extinct Toxodon (Owen).

Fig. 361.   Skull of Wombat. (After Giebel.)

Fig. 361. - Skull of Wombat. (After Giebel.)

i

1 - 1

; c

0 - 0

; pm

1 - 1

j m

4 - 4

=

24.

1 - 1

0 - 0

1 - 1

4 - 4

Fig. 362.   Skull of Macropus Bennetti. (After Giebel.)

Fig. 362. - Skull of Macropus Bennetti. (After Giebel.)

The Wombat is a nocturnal animal, and feeds chiefly upon roots and grass; and it is found in both Australia and Van Diemen's Land.

Fig. 363.   Hind foot of Macropus Bennetti. (After Flower).

Fig. 363. - Hind-foot of Macropus Bennetti. (After Flower).