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Spiny Bandicoots: Peroryctidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Spiny bandicoots are nocturnal, feeding during the night and resting during the day in nests of leaves, hollow logs, or shallow burrows. They live alone, coming together only briefly to mate. They are territorial animals, protecting an area against other members of their species and becoming aggressive if their area is invaded.

THE TINIEST BANDICOOT

The mouse bandicoot measures only 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. It is extremely difficult to observe, and was not discovered until 1932. It lives in moss forests at altitudes of 6,300 to 8,200 feet (1,900 to 2,500 meters), and is active only at night. By 1977 only four specimens of this species had been collected for study.

Little is known about spiny bandicoots. They are difficult to observe, because they live in remote or mountainous areas and are active only at night. Bandicoots are marsupial mammals. Most marsupials have what is called a yolk-sac placenta. A placenta is an organ that grows in the mother's uterus (womb). In eutherian (yoo-THEER-ee-an) mammals, such as dogs, cows, and humans, the placenta allows the developing offspring share the mother's food and oxygen. In animals with a yolk-sac placenta, there is no sharing of the mother's food and oxygen.

Bandicoots differ from other marsupials, because they have a second placenta in addition to the yolk-sac placenta. This placenta resembles the placenta of eutherian mammals, but does not function as well, because it does not attach as closely to the wall of the mother's uterus. As a result, spiny bandicoots have short pregnancies, and the young are born nearly helpless. They drag themselves into their mother's pouch where they attach to her teats, or nipples and are carried until they have matured. Spiny bandicoots normally have only one or two young at a time, but little is known about how long they are carried in their mother's pouch, when they become old enough to reproduce, or how long they live in the wild.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsSpiny Bandicoots: Peroryctidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Rufous Spiny Bandicoot (echymipera Rufescens): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, SPINY BANDICOOTS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS