Mammal Isoodon macrourus (Northern Brown Bandicoot)

Dusty Miller

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Common Names: Northern Brown Bandicoot

Scientific Name: Isoodon macrourus

Infraclass: Marsupialia

Order: Peramelemorphia

Family: Peramelidae

Distribution:Far northern WA, Coastal regions of NT and Coastal and adjacent inland areas of Queensland and northern half of NSW.

Habitat: Habitat changes during wet and dry seasons. Prefers tall weeds and interface zones between grasslands and forest. Roams grasslands more freely when food is abundant during the wetter seasons.

Field Notes: Up to 40 cm and 2 kg. Bandicoots are known to harbour Q fever rickettsiae, so should be handled only with gloves and/or hands sterilised afterwards. Short rounded ears and short nose. Light brown coat on top, white underneath. Eats insects, worms, berries, seeds. Often digs for food, leaving characteristic holes. Forages at night, keen sense of smell (underground food). Territorial.




Rear foot, showing four toes at front, but second and third toes are joined


Nose is shorter than in long nosed bandicoots, still has excellent sense of smell. Ears are small.
Large body, about the size of a jack russell. This is a male, hence larger than average.


Distinctive front paw.


Long strong claws for digging on the front foot.
 
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Dusty Miller

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Yet another road kill. This one was a large male, so may have had other things on his mind when crossing the highway. I am reliably informed by someone who doesn't have the flu that this one is quite ripe....

banditraks.jpg
These are bandicoot tracks I found last week, in a different location. Will try for better images. Front paw marks are present behind and inside the rear paw marks, which are paired here. Coin is a twenty.
 
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auscraft

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Another nightlife animal that hung around the camp at Jimna not at all afraid of Humans he came in while we ate drank from the skillet as it soaked and walked around our feet.
View attachment 7779
 

Hairyman

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Skull details.
DSCF5607 (640x392).jpg
DSCF5620 (640x370).jpg
Pics are my own.

First 4 incisors small and crowded, there is a slight space between 4th and 5th.
Incisors often lost after death.
Prominent canine.
Molars have sharp cusps, triangular patterned.
4th molar is about 3/4 size of other molars.
Large pear shaped ear bones. A key diagnostic feature used to distinguish between
the two genera of bandicoots, Isodon and Perameles.
Dental formula: 15,C1,P2,M4.

Slightly paraphrased text: 'Tracks Scats and Other Traces', by Barbara Triggs.
 

Dusty Miller

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This log was about a metre in diameter.



It showed a lot of traffic around the entrance, and had a narrow passage that ran along the length of the log.



Some very new bandicoot holes. The day was dry and a wind was blowing, but the excavated soil was still moist and dark.



Lots of sign in this area.


They turn over small wood to get at the insects underneath. I have also found excavated ant nests (sugar ants) with the brood chamber broken open.


ANother recently fallen tree showing signs of active excavation of a living chamber.


This is a spoil pile from excavation of old termite intrusions into the tree.


Here is the excavated passage. The small things are flying insects, rather than webs. Lack of webs makes this recently active. Unfortunately I elected to leave my good torch at home today.


Found this very fresh scat


It seems to be quite different from the ant laden echidna scat earlier, and contained no obvious plant fibres.


Other animals are also using these logs, I shot a large grey tabby feral cat not forty metres from this point a few minutes later. Hard to tell if it was sheltering in the logs, or had come in from the adjoining open grassland, since it was responding to a lip squeal at the time.
 
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