What has the ears of a rabbit, the nose of an anteater and the tail of a kangaroo? Bilbies, of course. Bilbies, sometimes known as rabbit-eared bandicoots, live only in Australia. These small, shy animals are about the size of a rabbit and they eat insects, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Bilbies once lived throughout Australia. When settlers came in the 1800s, they built cities and pushed bilbies out to the deserts. Cats and foxes hunt them and rabbits compete with them for food and shelter. Today, bilbies are found in only a few harsh desert locations in Australia.
Fun Facts about Bilbies for Kids
- Bilbies are expert diggers. They can disappear in sandy soil within three minutes. Their burrows are very steep and deep to protect them from predators.
- Children in Australia get chocolate bilbies in their Easter baskets instead of Easter bunnies.
- Bilbies are nocturnal. They sleep during the heat of the day.
- Bilbies don’t drink water. They get moisture from their food.
- Bilbies have a pocket to carry their babies. Usually they have between one and three babies.
- Shy: Quiet, fearful
- Settler: Newcomer, person who moves in to live
- Harsh: Tough
- Expert: Highly skilled
- Steep: Slanted
Learn More All About Bilbies
Watch this amazing video about vulnerable bilbies:
A video of why bilbies are rare and found mostly in zoos.
Question: Are bilbies endangered?
Answer: Yes, in fact, one species is believed to be extinct.
Question: What color are bilbies?
Answer: Bilbes have soft blue-grey fur.