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Numbats – The Termites Eaters

Numbats Quiz
Numbats Quiz
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When you think of marsupials, you probably think of kangaroos and koalas, but have you ever heard of a numbat? Numbats are small marsupials that look a little like squirrels. They live only in Western Australia in forests. Numbats are different than most marsupials. They don’t eat plants. Instead, they eat termites.

A Numbat Walking Image - Science for Kids All About Numbats
All about numbats, small marsupials that look a little like squirrels. They live only in Western Australia in forests.

Numbats don’t have pouches either. Instead, their young clamp onto a teat on the mother’s belly and stay there for five months. Numbat moms can have up to four babies at once.

Numbat Tongue Image
Numbats eat up to 20,000 termites each day. They catch the termites with their long, sticky tongues.

Fun Facts about Numbats for Kids

  • Numbats eat up to 20,000 termites each day. They catch the termites with their long, sticky tongues.
  • Numbats are diurnal. They sleep during the night and are awake in the day. They are active when termites are active. In the winter, termites are active in the middle of the day when the sun warms the ground. In the summer, termites are active early in the morning and in the evening.
  • Numbats have a good sense of smell. They can smell termites on the ground.
  • These marsupials live in hollow logs or dig burrows under the ground.
Numbat Burrow Image
Numbats live in hollow logs or dig burrows under the ground.

Numbat Vocabulary

  1. Termite: an insect similar to an ant
  2. Diurnal: awake during the day
  3. Active: awake, moving, busy
  4. Hollow: empty, open

Learn More All About Numbats

Watch this interesting video about numbats in a South Australian Zoo:

A video documentary about how numbats are cared for in Australian zoos.

Numbat Q&A

Question: Are numbats endangered?

Answer: Yes, numbats are very rare. Fox and cats prey on them.

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Question: Do numbats dig for insects like anteaters?

Answer: Even though the numbat is sometimes called “banded anteater,” it is not like an anteater. It does not have strong claws for digging. It hunts termites crawling on the ground.

 

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