What’s the funniest animal name you’ve ever heard? Rhinoceros? Hippopotamus? Lemur? Those are all funny, but we think there’s an animal with an even funnier name. What are we talking about? The bandicoot, of course!

Bandicoots might look like small- to medium-sized rodents, but they’re actually marsupials. They’re not nearly as big as other marsupials, such as kangaroos, though. Bandicoots generally grow to be between 6 and 22 inches in length.

They live throughout Australia, especially the coastal areas of the Australian state of New South Wales. They can adapt to live in several different types of habitats, including rainforests, woodlands and prairies. They usually build nests in shallow holes and line them with leaves.

There are about 20 different species of bandicoots. The three most common in Australia are the long-nosed bandicoot, the southern brown bandicoot and the northern brown bandicoot.

Bandicoots have short fur that can be one of several different colors, including brown, yellow, black, orange or grey. They also have a couple of features that distinguish them from other marsupials. They have lots of sharp incisor teeth, and their second and third toes are grown together. When they move, they hop on their larger hind legs, like kangaroos.

Bandicoots tend to forage for food mainly at night. Bandicoots are omnivores. That means they eat both plants and animals. Common bandicoot foods include insects, earthworms and root vegetables.

Bandicoots don’t have many natural predators, but there are a few, including owls and dingoes. Domestic cats and dogs, as well as foxes, are also beginning to threaten bandicoot populations.

Perhaps the biggest threats, though, come from urban development. As houses and roads continue to be built, bandicoots lose natural habitats they’ve lived in for years.

Bandicoots tend to be solitary animals. Unless it’s mating season, they will often chase other bandicoots away. If they get into a fight, they’ll mainly use their hind legs for defense and bite only if it’s absolutely necessary.

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    • Thanks for WONDERing with us, Mrs. Pimolper’s Class! We are glad our marsupial Wonder made you smile! See you next time as we bundle up and Wonder! :)

    • That’s a great Wonder, Andy! We bet that they run into snakes once in a while, since they share the same Australian territory on the ground. We are so glad you’re WONDERing with us today! :)

    • Hey there, Sam! We learned that a bandicoot does look like a mouse, but it’s actually in the marsupial family! How WONDERful! :)

    • Perhaps you’ll travel to Australia in the future and spot a bandicoot, Tyler! We hope you’ll let us know when that happens! :)

  1. I have a pet rat named Bubba and a pet snake named slither. I used to have a hairless rat named Chicka but she got old and died. I also have 6 dogs (what a mess). Their names are chance, beula, shady, camo, tricksy, and rio. I have 3 cats named fatty, harly, and spooky. P.S. We have mice in our house that are noise at night. PLEASE COMMENT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • We are so glad you enjoyed our Wonder, Rhiannon! It sounds like you have lots of pets, too, what a fun house to live in! We hope your day is WONDERful, just like you, Rhiannon! :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friends Nick and Rhiannon! We’re glad you’re WONDERing with us today– it seems like you are answering one another’s questions! How cool! We’re glad we learned about your favorite animals (a cat and a rat)! Thanks for visiting us to Wonder about bandicoots! See you soon! :)

  2. I love rats a lot. I am 10 years old and love sports!!!For 4h I am doing a report about my rat bubba. Did you know that one year in human years is 30 years in rat years. :) :) :) :) :)

    • What an interesting 4H project, Rhiannon! It sounds like you are very passionate about WONDERing about rats– thank you for sharing your awesome comment! :)

    • We are so happy you shared your very own Wonder with us, Rhiannon! We know you are a lover of lots of animals– and that you have five dogs, too! Thanks for posting your comment, we are so glad you’re here! :)

    • Hey there, Rhiannon! We love your energy! We LOVE when we receive nominated Wonders from our Wonder Friends, just like you suggested a Wonder about rats! It takes some time to go from Wonder idea to full, complete Wonder! We have lots of research, editing and writing to do! But we are so glad to have suggestion from you! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your AWESOME comment, Jemmyla! We are so glad you’re here and we look forward to WONDERing with you very soon! :)

  3. i came and saw this because of the el chucabra wonder and i said it was cool to say and they asked me if bandicoot is fun to say and i asked them if it was another animal and now i know

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a bandicoot?
  • Where do bandicoots live?
  • How big do bandicoots grow?

Wonder Gallery

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Try It Out

Is the bandicoot your favorite marsupial now? Check out one or more of the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • Have you ever seen a bandicoot? What are you waiting for? Check out Bandicoot Pictures online. What do you think? Would you want one as a pet? Why or why not? Do you think they’re cute?
  • What’s your favorite marsupial? Is it the bandicoot? Maybe the kangaroo? Learn more about these unique creatures when you visit Animal Planet’s Marsupials website. Read about some of these interesting creatures and then make a list of 10 fascinating facts about marsupials you can share with friends and family members.
  • Bandicoot is a fun word to say, isn’t it? Try saying it ten times quickly. That’s ten times as much fun as just saying it once! What other animal names are fun to say? How about capybara? Or lemur? Woodchuck? Platypus? If you discovered a new animal, what would you name it? Use your imagination and pretend that you’re in an exotic location in one of the more remote areas of the world. You stumble upon a new species that no one has ever seen before. What does it look like? What does it eat? Where does it live? What would you name it? Share your creative thoughts with your other Wonder Friends on Facebook. We can’t wait to read about what you’d name your new discovery!

Still Wondering

In National Geographic Education’s Sugar’s Not Sweet for the Great Barrier Reef activity, children identify cause-and-effect relationships between sugar cane production and the health of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

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Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day takes a closer look at some really needy creatures!

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