Bandicoot (perameles), a marsupial animal of small size, inhabiting the stony regions of the interior of S. E. Australia. Its appearance is somewhat rat-like, and in its long snout shrew-like. The teeth are sharp and numerous, the incisors being 5 above and 3 below, the canines 1, the premolars 3, and the molars 4, on each side in each jaw. The head is elongated, the back arched, and the mode of progression, from the union of the 2d and 3d toes of the hind feet, the smallness of the hind thumb and outer fore toe, and separation from the others, consists of a gait between a jump and a run; the marsupial pouch opens backward. The most common species, the banded bandicoot (P. fasciata), is about 18 inches long, of a blackish yellow color, banded on the hinder parts; it runs with great speed, lives upon roots, seeds, insects, and grubs, and its flesh is esteemed by the natives. The long-nosed bandicoot has, as its name imports, a longer and sharper snout, and a harsh fur of a brownish and blackish color above and white below; the body is 16 inches long and the tail 5. It prefers vegetable food, and is sometimes destructive in the gardens of the colonists, its long and powerful claws enabling it to dig up roots with great facility.
The bandicoots make a nest of dried grass and leaves, carefully concealed at the foot of a dense bush. - The chozropus, an allied animal of New South Wales, has two toes of equal length on the fore feet, with sharp hoof-like claws resembling those of a pig; the tail is long and rat-like. It is a slender, graceful animal, with very large ears; it is of the size of a small rabbit, and its fur is very soft; its speed is considerable, and it eats both vegetable substances and insects.
Banded Bandicoot (Perameles fasciata).