Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers; the earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP. Although there are a number of commonalities between Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, there is a great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own mixture of cultures and languages.
In present-day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities. At the time of initial European settlement, over 250 languages were spoken. Aboriginal people today speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English; the population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement is contentious and has been estimated at between 318,000 and 1,000,000 with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River. A population collapse principally from disease followed European settlement beginning with a smallpox epidemic spreading three years after the arrival of Europeans. Massacres and war by British settlers contributed to depopulation; the characterisation of this violence as genocide is controversial and disputed. Since 1995, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have been among the official flags of Australia.
The word aboriginal has been in the English language since at least the 16th century to mean, "first or earliest known, indigenous". It comes from the Latin word aborigines, derived from origo; the word was used in Australia to describe its indigenous peoples as early as 1789. It soon became employed as the common name to refer to all Indigenous Australians. While the term Indigenous Australians, has grown since the 1980s to be more inclusive of Torres Strait Islander people, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples dislike it, feeling that it is too generic and removes their identity. Being more specific, for example naming the language group, is considered best practice and most respectful. Terms that are considered disrespectful include Aborigine and ATSI The broad term Aboriginal Australians includes many regional groups that identify under names from local Indigenous languages; these include: Murrawarri people -- see Murawari language. Anindilyakwa on Groote Eylandt off Arnhem Land.
These larger groups may be further subdivided. It is estimated that before the arrival of British settlers, the population of Indigenous Australians was 318,000–750,000 across the continent; the Torres Strait Islanders possess a heritage and cultural history distinct from Aboriginal traditions. The eastern Torres Strait Islanders in particular are related to the Papuan peoples of New Guinea, speak a Papuan language. Accordingly, they are not included under the designation "Aboriginal Australians"; this has been another factor in the promotion of the more inclusive term "Indigenous Australians". Six percent of Indigenous Australians identify themselves as Torres Strait Islanders. A further 4% of Indigenous Australians identify themselves as having both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal heritage; the Torres Strait Islands comprise over 100 islands which were annexed by Queensland in 1879. Many Indigenous organisations incorporate the phrase "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander" to highlight the distinctiveness and importance of Torres Strait Islanders in Australia's Indigenous population.
Eddie Mabo was from "Mer" or Murray Island in the Torres Strait, which the famous Mabo decision of 1992 involved. The term "black" has been used to refer to Indigenous Australians since European settlement. While related to skin colour, the term is used today to indicate Aboriginal he
Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory
Tharwa is a township within the Australian Capital Territory, 35 kilometres south of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. At the 2016 census, Tharwa had a population of 81; the village is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and at the junction of Tidbinbilla and Naas Roads, Tharwa Drive. The main public buildings are a general store, a preschool and primary school, Saint Edmund's Anglican Church, a cemetery, a community hall and tennis courts; the annual Tharwa Fair was hosted by the school, was held in May until 2006. The Tharwa Fair is now organised by Tharwa Preschool. Tharwa is the oldest official settlement in the Australian Capital Territory, proclaimed a settlement in 1862. Tharwa was named after the Aboriginal word for Mount Tennent, a nearby mountain peak, part of Namadgi National Park. Mount Tennent was named after John Tennant, one of the earliest and best-known bushrangers in the region. Tennant lived in a hideout on the mountain behind Tharwa from which he raided local homesteads 1827–1828, before being arrested and transported to Norfolk Island.
Tharwa Bridge, opened on 27 March 1895, crosses the Murrumbidgee River. Tharwa Primary School was opened soon after, in 1899; the Tharwa township narrowly avoided being burnt in the 2003 Canberra bushfires. More the Tharwa community had two further challenges: closures and repairs to Tharwa Bridge due to extensive rot in its supporting timbers discovered in 2005, the 2006-07 Australian Capital Territory budget announcement of its plans to close the Tharwa preschool and primary school; the primary school was closed in December 2006. Tharwa Bridge was reopened for light traffic in August 2008. Tharwa Bridge was reopened for public use on Friday 24 June 2011 following the completion of the restoration works. Restoration works took two years and involved removal of the old bridge deck and barrier railings as well as installation of new cross girders and sway braces to the permanent trusses. Tharwa is in a different geological structural unit than the rest of Canberra, being on the Cotter Horst; the village itself is built on Tharwa Adamellite.
This adamellite contains biotite mica. It has been dated at 423 ±6 million years old; this places it in the upper Silurian age. The outcrop area is extended to the north north west to Freshford, includes Castle Hill, it goes as far to the west as Sawyer's Gully. To the south it goes close to Angle Crossing, on the east side is bounded by the Murrumbidgee Fault; the Tharwa Adamellite is part of the Murrumbidgee Batholith. The latitude and longitude of Tharwa is 35°31'00S 149°04'00E; the geoid is 19.356 meters above the theoretical ellipsoid shape of the earth at Tharwa. The astronomical measurement of the position on the Earth's surface is only slightly distorted by a non vertical gravitational field 0.3" to north and 0.6" to the west. Magnetic declination at Tharwa is 11.817 deg east, total field strength is 43108 nT and magnetic inclination is -66.031 degrees. Declination is increasing by 0.004 degrees per year. Inclination is increasing by 0.016 degrees per year. Australian Alps Walking Track Tharwa Village Tharwa Links Birrigai Outdoor School Lanyon Homestead Nolan Gallery Outward Bound Australia
Eastern grey kangaroo
The eastern grey kangaroo is a marsupial found in southern and eastern Australia, with a population of several million. It is known as the great grey kangaroo and the forester kangaroo. Although a big eastern grey male masses around 66 kg and stands 2 m tall, the scientific name, Macropus giganteus, is misleading: the red kangaroo of the semi-arid inland is larger, weighing up to 90 kg; the eastern grey kangaroo was described by George Shaw in 1790 as Macropus giganteus. There are two subspecies: Macropus giganteus giganteus - found in eastern and central Queensland, New South Wales and southeastern South Australia Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis -, endemic to Tasmania The eastern grey kangaroo is the second largest and heaviest living marsupial and native land mammal in Australia. An adult male will weigh around 50 to 66 kg whereas females weigh around 17 to 40 kg, they have a powerful tail, over 1 m long in adult males. Large males of this species are more built and muscled than the lankier red kangaroo and can exceed normal dimensions.
One of these, shot in eastern Tasmania weighed 82 kg, with a 2.64 m total length from nose to tail. The largest known specimen, examined by Lydekker, had a weight of 91 kg and measured 2.92 m along the curves. When the skin of this specimen was measured it had a "flat" length of 2.49 m. The eastern grey is easy to recognise: its soft grey coat is distinctive, it is found in moister, more fertile areas than the red. Red kangaroos, though sometimes grey-blue in colour, have a different face than grey kangaroos. Red kangaroos have distinctive markings in black and white beside their muzzles and along the sides of their face. Grey kangaroos do not have these markings, their eyes seem large and wide open. Where their ranges overlap, it is much more difficult to distinguish between eastern grey and western grey kangaroos, which are related, they have a similar body and facial structure, their noses/muzzles are covered with fine hair. The eastern grey's colouration is a light-coloured grey or brownish-grey, with a lighter silver or cream, sometimes nearly white, belly.
The western grey is a dark dusty brown colour, with more contrast around the head. Indigenous Australian names include iyirrbir and kucha; the highest recorded speed of any kangaroo was 64 kilometres per hour set by a large female eastern grey kangaroo. Although the red is better known, the eastern grey is the kangaroo most encountered in Australia, due to its adaptability. Few Australians visit the arid interior of the continent, while many live in and around the major cities of the south and east coast, from where it is only a short drive to the remaining pockets of near-city bushland where kangaroos can be found without much difficulty; the eastern grey prefers open grassland with areas of bush for daytime shelter and inhabits the wetter parts of Australia. It inhabits coastal areas, sub-tropical forests, mountain forests, inland scrubs. Like all kangaroos, it is nocturnal and crepuscular, is seen early in the morning, or as the light starts to fade in the evening. In the middle of the day, kangaroos rest in the cover of the woodlands and eat there but come out in the open to feed on the grasslands in large numbers.
The eastern grey kangaroo is predominantly a grazer, eating a wide variety of grasses, whereas some other species include significant amounts of shrubs in the diet. Eastern grey kangaroos are gregarious and form open-membership groups; the groups contain an average of three individuals. Smaller groups join together to graze in preferred foraging areas, to rest in large groups around the middle of the day, they exist in a dominance hierarchy and the dominant individuals gain access to better sources of food and areas of shade. However, kangaroos are not territorial and fight only when females are in estrous. Eastern grey kangaroos adjust their behavior in relation to the risk of predation with reproductive females, individuals on the periphery of the group and individuals in groups far from cover being the most vigilant. Vigilance in individual kangaroos does not seem to decrease when the size of the group increases. However, there is a tendency for the proportion of individuals on the periphery of the group to decline as group size increases.
The open membership of the group allows more kangaroos to join and thus provide more buffers against predators. Females may form strong kinship bonds with their female relatives. Females with living female relatives have a greater chance of reproducing. Most kangaroo births occur during the summer. Eastern grey kangaroos are obligate breeders; the female kangaroo is permanently pregnant, except on the day she gives birth. This is known as diapause, will occur in times of drought and in areas with poor food sources; the composition of the milk produced by the mother varies according to the needs of the joey. In addition, the mother is able to produce two different kinds of milk for the newborn and the older joey still in the pouch. Unusually, during a dry period, males will not produce sperm, and
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia's highest mountain, at 2,228 metres above sea level. It is located on the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park, part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves, in New South Wales, is located west of Crackenback and close to Jindabyne; the 1863 picture by Eugene von Guerard hanging in the National Gallery of Australia titled "Northeast view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko" is from Mount Townsend. The mountain was named by the Polish explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of Polish freedom fighter, General Tadeusz Kościuszko, because of its perceived resemblance to the Kościuszko Mound in Kraków, Poland. An exploration party led by Paul Edmund Strzelecki and James Macarthur with indigenous guides Charlie Tarra and Jackey set off on what is called Strzelecki’s Southern expedition. Macarthur was seeking new pastures. Strzelecki wanted to investigate the climate, geology and geography of NSW and to publish his findings.
This included identifying Australia’s highest summit, which Strzelecki reached on 12 March 1840. The approach was made from Geehi valley. After climbing Hannel’s Spur, the peak called Mt Townsend was reached. Here Strzelecki used his instruments to make observations, he noticed. In the presence of Macarthur he named the higher summit Mt Kosciusko after the Polish and American hero fighting for freedom and equal rights; as it was late, Macarthur decided to return to camp and Strzelecki alone climbed the Kosciuszko summit. Based on Strzelecki’s records, Australia’s highest summit was mapped. A cartographical mistake made in an edition of Victorian maps transposed Mt Kosciusko to the position of the present Mt Townsend. Editions of the map, continued to show the original location. NSW maps did not make this mistake; the Victorian error created confusion. In 1885, Austrian explorer Robert von Lendenfeld, guided by M. Spencer, a local pastoralist, aided by a map containing the transposition error, reached Mt Townsend believing it was Mt Kosciusko.
Like Strzelecki, Lendenfeld observed that the neighbouring peak was higher. He named it Mt Townsend to honour the surveyor. Lendenfeld claimed he reached the highest peak of the continent; the NSW Department of Mines discovered Lendenfeld's mistake and assigned the name Mt Townsend to the second-highest mountain of the range. Lendenfeld's announcement created further confusion, this is why people began to believe the incorrect story that the names of the two mountains were swapped; the confusion was straightened out in 1940 by B. T. Dowd, a cartographer and historian of the NSW Lands Department, his study reaffirmed that the mountain named by Strzelecki as Mt Kosciuszko was indeed, as the NSW maps had always shown, Australia’s highest summit. When Macarthur’s field book of the historical journey was published in 1941 by C. Daley, it further confirmed Dowd’s clarification; this means that Targangil, mentioned in Spencer’s 1885 article, was the indigenous name of Mt Townsend, not of Mt Kosciusko.
According to A. E. J. Andrews, Mt Kosciuszko had no indigenous name. Detailed analysis of the mountain history can be found in books by H. P. G. Clews and in the cited A. E. J. Andrews' book Kosciusko: The Mountain in History; the name of the mountain was spelt "Mount Kosciusko", an Anglicisation, but the spelling "Mount Kosciuszko" was adopted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. The traditional English pronunciation of Kosciuszko is, but the pronunciation is now sometimes used, closer to the Polish pronunciation. There are several native Aboriginal names associated with Mt Townsend, where J. Macarthur recorded in 1840 some campings of the natives. There is some confusion as to the exact sounds; these are Jar-gan-gil, Tar-gan-gil, Tackingal. See the cited letter by A. E. J Andrews; the mountain was formed by geologic uplift. It was not formed by any recent volcanic activity. Eroded granite intrusions remain at the summit as large boulders above the more eroded sedimentary rocks. Mount Kosciuszko is the highest summit in mainland Australia.
Until 1977 it was possible to drive from Charlotte Pass to within a few metres of the summit, but in 1977 the road was closed to public motor vehicle access due to environmental concerns. The road is open from Charlotte Pass for walkers and cyclists for 7.6 kilometres to Rawson Pass, at an elevation of 2,100 metres above sea level. From there a 1.4-kilometre walking path leads to the summit. Cyclists must leave their bicycles at a bicycle rack at Rawson Pass and continue to the summit on foot. Anyone with a modest level of fitness can walk to the top; the peak may be approached from Thredbo, taking 3 to 3.5 hours for a round trip. This straightforward walk starts from the top of the Thredbo Kosciuszko Express chairlift, which operates all year-round; the walking path is popular in summer, is a mesh walkway to protect the native vegetation and prevent erosion. It is 5 kilometres to Rawson Pass, where it meets the track from Charlotte Pass, from where it is a further 1.4 kilometres to the summit.
The walk to the summit is the easiest of all the Seven Summits. Australia's highest public toilet was built at Rawson pass in 2007, to cope with the more than 100,000 people visiting the mountain each summer; the third and overlooked route up Mount Kosciuszko is up the challenging and historic Hannel's Spur Track, which approaches from the NW and is the only route to pass through the Western Fall Wilderness Zone – passing through four different bio-dive
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. It is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. An international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas. While this type of national park had been proposed the United States established the first "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people", Yellowstone National Park, in 1872. Although Yellowstone was not termed a "national park" in its establishing law, it was always termed such in practice and is held to be the first and oldest national park in the world. However, the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain are seen as the oldest protected areas, predating Yellowstone by nearly a century.
The first area to use "national park" in its creation legislation was the U. S.'s Mackinac, in 1875. Australia's Royal National Park, established in 1879, was the world's third official national park. In 1895 ownership of Mackinac National Park was transferred to the State of Michigan as a state park and national park status was lost; as a result, Australia's Royal National Park is by some considerations the second oldest national park now in existence. Canada established Parks Canada in 1911, becoming the world's first national service dedicated to protecting and presenting natural and historical treasures; the largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, established in 1974. According to the IUCN, 6,555 national parks worldwide met its criteria in 2006. IUCN is still discussing the parameters of defining a national park. National parks are always open to visitors. Most national parks provide outdoor recreation and camping opportunities as well as classes designed to educate the public on the importance of conservation and the natural wonders of the land in which the national park is located.
In 1969, the IUCN declared a national park to be a large area with the following defining characteristics: One or several ecosystems not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty. In 1971, these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park; these include: Minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection of nature takes precedence Statutory legal protection Budget and staff sufficient to provide sufficient effective protection Prohibition of exploitation of natural resources qualified by such activities as sport, fishing, the need for management, etc. While the term national park is now defined by the IUCN, many protected areas in many countries are called national park when they correspond to other categories of the IUCN Protected Area Management Definition, for example: Swiss National Park, Switzerland: IUCN Ia - Strict Nature Reserve Everglades National Park, United States: IUCN Ib - Wilderness Area Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe: IUCN III - National Monument Vitosha National Park, Bulgaria: IUCN IV - Habitat Management Area New Forest National Park, United Kingdom: IUCN V - Protected Landscape Etniko Ygrotopiko Parko Delta Evrou, Greece: IUCN VI - Managed Resource Protected AreaWhile national parks are understood to be administered by national governments, in Australia national parks are run by state governments and predate the Federation of Australia.
In Canada, there are both national parks operated by the federal government and provincial or territorial parks operated by the provincial and territorial governments, although nearly all are still national parks by the IUCN definition. In many countries, including Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, national parks do not adhere to the IUCN definition, while some areas which adhere to the IUCN definition are not designated as national parks. In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy; the painter George Catlin, in his travels through the American West, wrote during the 1830s that the Native Americans in the United States might be preserved...in a magnificent park... A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty! The first effort by the U. S. Federal government to set aside such protected lands was on 20 April 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation that the 22nd United States Congress had enacted to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas, to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the futur
IUCN protected area categories
IUCN protected area categories, or IUCN protected area management categories, are categories used to classify protected areas in a system developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The enlisting of such areas is part of a strategy being used toward the conservation of the world's natural environment and biodiversity; the IUCN has developed the protected area management categories system to define and classify the wide variety of specific aims and concerns when categorising protected areas and their objectives. This categorisation method is recognised on a global scale by national governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity. A strict nature reserve is an area, protected from all but light human use in order to preserve the geological and geomorphical features of the region and its biodiversity; these areas are home to dense native ecosystems that are restricted from all human disturbance outside of scientific study, environmental monitoring and education.
Because these areas are so protected, they provide ideal pristine environments by which external human influence can be measured. In some cases strict nature reserves are of spiritual significance for surrounding communities, the areas are protected for this reason; the people engaged in the practice of their faith within the region have the right to continue to do so, providing it aligns with the area's conservation and management objectives. Human impacts on strict nature reserves are difficult to guard against as climate and air pollution and newly emerging diseases threaten to penetrate the boundaries of protected areas. If perpetual intervention is required to maintain these strict guidelines, the area will fall into category IV or V. A wilderness area is similar to a strict nature reserve, but larger and protected in a less stringent manner; these areas are a protected domain in which biodiversity and ecosystem processes are allowed to flourish or experience restoration if disturbed by human activity.
These are areas which may buffer against the effects of climate change and protect threatened species and ecological communities. Human visitation is limited to a minimum allowing only those who are willing to travel of their own devices, but this offers a unique opportunity to experience wilderness that has not been interfered with. Wilderness areas can be classified as such only if they are devoid of modern infrastructure, though they allow human activity to the level of sustaining indigenous groups and their cultural and spiritual values within their wilderness-based lifestyles. A national park is similar to a wilderness area in its size and its main objective of protecting functioning ecosystems. However, national parks tend to be more lenient with human visitation and its supporting infrastructure. National parks are managed in a way that may contribute to local economies through promoting educational and recreational tourism on a scale that will not reduce the effectiveness of conservation efforts.
The surrounding areas of a national park may be for consumptive or non-consumptive use but should act as a barrier for the defence of the protected area's native species and communities to enable them to sustain themselves in the long term. A natural monument or feature is a comparatively smaller area, allocated to protect a natural monument and its surrounding habitats; these monuments can be natural in the wholest sense or include elements that have been influenced or introduced by humans. The latter should hold biodiversity associations or could otherwise be classified as a historical or spiritual site, though this distinction can be quite difficult to ascertain. To be categorised as a natural monument or feature by IUCN's guidelines, the protected area could include natural geological or geomorphological features, culturally-influenced natural features, natural cultural sites, or cultural sites with associated ecology; the classification falls into two subcategories: those in which the biodiversity is uniquely related to the conditions of the natural feature and those in which the current levels of biodiversity are dependent on the presence of the sacred sites that have created an modified ecosystem.
Natural monuments or features play a smaller but key ecological role in the operations of broader conservation objectives. They have a high cultural or spiritual value that can be utilised to gain support of conservation challenges by allowing higher visitation or recreational rights, therefore offering an incentive for the preservation of the site. A habitat or species management area is similar to a natural monument or feature, but focuses on more specific areas of conservation, like an identifiable species or habitat that requires continuous protection rather than that of a natural feature; these protected areas will be sufficiently controlled to ensure the maintenance and restoration of particular species and habitats—possibly through traditional means—and public education of such areas is encouraged as part of the management objectives. Habitat or species management areas may exist as a fraction of a wider ecosystem or protected area and may require varying levels of active protection.
Management measures may include the prevention of poaching, creation of artificial habitats, halting natural succession, supplementary feeding practices. A protected landscape or protected seascape covers an entire body of land or ocea
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m in length with stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae, they are adaptable and habitat tolerant, are found in forested and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland. Though genetic studies of the Vombatidae have been undertaken, evolution of the family is not well understood. Wombats are estimated to have diverged from other Australian marsupials early, as long as 40 million years ago, while some estimates place divergence at around 25 million years. While some theories place wombats as miniaturised relatives of diprotodonts, such as the rhinoceros-sized Diprotodon, more recent studies place the Vombatiformes as having a distinct parallel evolution, hence their current classification as a separate family. Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with powerful claws.
One distinctive adaptation of wombats is their backward pouch. The advantage of a backward-facing pouch is that when digging, the wombat does not gather soil in its pouch over its young. Although crepuscular and nocturnal, wombats may venture out to feed on cool or overcast days, they are not seen, but leave ample evidence of their passage, treating fences as minor inconveniences to be gone through or under, leaving distinctive cubic feces. As wombats arrange these feces to mark territories and attract mates, it is believed that the cubic shape makes them more stackable and less to roll, which gives this shape a biological advantage; the method by which the wombat produces them is not well understood, but it is believed that the wombat intestine stretches preferentially at the walls. The adult wombat produces between 80 and 100, two-centimetre pieces of feces in a single night, four to eight pieces each bowel movement. Wombats are herbivores, their incisor teeth somewhat resemble those of rodents, being adapted for gnawing tough vegetation.
Like many other herbivorous mammals, they have a large diastema between their incisors and the cheek teeth, which are simple. The dental formula of wombats is 188.8.131.52.0.1.4 × 2 = 24. Wombats' fur can vary from a sandy colour from grey to black. All three known extant species weigh between 20 and 35 kg. Female wombats give birth to a single young in the spring, after a gestation period, which like all marsupials can vary, in the case of the wombat: 20–21 days, they have well-developed pouches. Wombats are weaned after 15 months, are sexually mature at 18 months. A group of wombats is known as a mob, or a colony. Wombats live up to 15 years in the wild, but can live past 20 and 30 years in captivity; the longest-lived captive wombat lived to 34 years of age. Wombats have an extraordinarily slow metabolism, taking around eight to 14 days to complete digestion, which aids their survival in arid conditions, they move slowly. When threatened, they can reach up to 40 km/h and maintain that speed for up to 90 seconds.
Wombats defend home territories centred on their burrows, they react aggressively to intruders. The common wombat occupies a range of up to 23 ha, while the hairy-nosed species have much smaller ranges, of no more than 4 ha. Dingos and Tasmanian devils prey on wombats. Extinct predators were to have included Thylacoleo and the thylacine, their primary defence is their toughened rear hide, with most of the posterior made of cartilage. This, combined with its lack of a meaningful tail, makes it difficult for any predator that follows the wombat into its tunnel to bite and injure its target; when attacked, wombats dive into a nearby tunnel. A wombat may allow an intruder to force its head over the wombat's back, use its powerful legs to crush the skull of the predator against the roof of the tunnel, or drive it off with two-legged kicks, like those of a donkey. Wombats are quiet animals. Bare-nosed wombats can make a number of more than the Hairy-nosed wombats. Wombats tend to be more vocal during mating season.
When angered, they can make hissing sounds. Their call sounds somewhat like a pig's squeal, they can make grunting noises, a low growl, a hoarse cough, a clicking noise. The three extant species of wombat all are endemic to a few offshore islands, they are protected under Australian law. Common wombat Northern hairy-nosed wombat or yaminon Southern hairy-nosed wombat Depiction of the animals in rock art are exceptionally rare, though examples estimated to be up to 4,000 years old have been discovered in the Wollemi National Park; the wombat is depicted in aboriginal Dreamtime as an animal of little worth. The mainland stories tell of the wombat as originating from a person named Warreen whose head had been flattened by a stone and tail amputated as punishment for selfishness. In contrast, the Tasmanian aboriginal story first recorded in 1830 tells of the wombat the great spirit Moihernee had asked hunters to leave alone. In both cases, the wombat is regarded as having been banished to its burrowing habitat.
Estimates of wombat distribution prior to European settlement are that numbers of all three surviving species were prolific and that they