Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's a Bilby?

The Bilby is actually a marsupial that is most closely related to the bandicoot. So this makes the Little Bilby a close cousin to the Precious Possum! Who knew?

There used to be two different types of Bilbies in Australia, but one of them has been extinct since the 1950s with the other surviving in limited numbers. The loss of the animals is due in large part to habitat loss, and the species is in competition for their place in the food chain with a lot of other animals. There is currently a protective plan in place that involves breeding Bilbies in captivity, closely monitoring wild populations, and helping to move the species back into areas where they once lived.

This species is generally only seen out and about during the night time hours. Generally the Bilby will not come out of its burrow until an hour after the sun has set and will go back down into their burrows at least an hour before the sun rises. Many conditions are known to keep the Bilby in all day and night and these include strong winds, heavy rains, and even a full moon.

Bilbies find their food, insect larvae, spiders, fruit, fungus, and bulbs, by digging in the soil, which the females do backward to avoid getting soil in their pouch. They use their long tongues to pull the food from the ground.
On the Save the Bilby website, you can learn more bilby facts, contribute to the bilby fund, and purchase chocolate bilbies, bilby toys and bilby t-shirts!

4 comments:

Joanne said...

Another Marsupial--how wonderful! W.T. Beaufort should have lived so long.

JR said...

P.S. If I had a pet Bilby, I would name him/her Bilbo Baggins.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Wow! What a wealth of Bilby knowledge!

JD Atlanta said...

Hmmmm. This was the second time I read about a Bilby in a blog this week. The other was on FU Penguin - warning: this is not safe for work:

http://www.fupenguin.com/2009/09/i-guess-any-asshole-gets-holiday-now.html

On the same site, a post about a possum:

http://www.fupenguin.com/2009/09/im-not-sorry-australia.html

Jed