Trivia question for Sep-05-2011

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 in Trivia

Carter thinks the name of this mammal sounds funny which is why he stopped to learn more about them.  Check out what he found.  This is the only termite eating marsupial, it sniffs out and unearths termites from the forest floor and consumes as many as 20,000 in a single day.

Unlike most other marsupials, these guys are diurnal, largely because of the constraints of having a specialized diet without having the usual physical equipment for it. Most ecosystems with a generous supply of termites have a fairly large creature with a very long, thin, sticky tongue for penetrating termite colonies, and powerful forelimbs with heavy claws. Like other mammals that eat termites or ants, these guys have a degenerate jaw with 52 very small non-functional teeth, and is unable to chew. Nonetheless, they do have a similar dental formula to many other marsupials.

So here are Carter’s questions:  Tell us what this mammal is and where can they still be found in the wild?  Also, tell us what they are also known as?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to both Jean Netherton for identifying the little critter correctly and to our friend Meredith Pennino down at the Big Cat Rescue in FL for listing the other popular name these guys have. The mammal we featured is the Numbat.

The numbat, also known as the ‘Banded Anteater’, is a marsupial found in Western Australia. Its diet consists almost exclusively of termites. Once widespread across southern Australia, the range is now restricted to several small colonies and it is listed as an endangered species. The numbat is an emblem of Western Australia and protected by conservation programs.

The numbat first became known to Europeans in 1831. It was discovered by an exploration party who were exploring the Avon Valley under the leadership of Robert Dale. George Fletcher Moore, who was a member of the expedition, recounted the discovery thus:

“Saw a beautiful animal; but, as it escaped into the hollow of a tree, could not ascertain whether it was a species of squirrel, weasel, or wild cat…” and the following day, “chased another little animal, such as had escaped from us yesterday, into a hollow tree, where we captured it; from the length of its tongue, and other circumstances, we conjecture that it is an ant-eater—its color yellowish, barred with black and white streaks across the hinder part of the back; its length about twelve inches.” Here is more on these furry little guys: Numbat

Thanks for playing along 😉