bandicoot

/ban"di kooht'/, n.
1. any of several large East Indian rats of the genus Nesokia.
2. any of several insectivorous and herbivorous marsupials of the family Peramelidae, of Australia and New Guinea: some are endangered.
[1780-90; < Telugu pandi-kokku pig-rat]

* * *

Any of about 22 species of marsupials (family Peramelidae) found in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and nearby islands.

Bandicoots are 12–30 in. (30–80 cm) long, including the 4-to 12-in. (10– to 30-cm) sparsely haired tail. They have a stout, coarse-haired body, a tapered muzzle, and hindlimbs longer than their forelimbs. Unlike other marsupials, bandicoots have a placenta. They are terrestrial, solitary animals that dig pits to search for insect and plant food. Farmers consider them pests. All species have declined, and some are now endangered.

Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta).

Warren Garst
Tom Stack and Associates

* * *

 any of about 22 species of Australasian marsupial mammals comprising the family Peramelidae. (For Asian rodents of this name, see bandicoot rat.) Bandicoots are 30 to 80 cm (12 to 31 inches) long, including the 10- to 30-centimetre (4- to 12-inch) sparsely haired tail. The body is stout and coarse haired, the muzzle tapered, and the hind limbs longer than the front. The toes are reduced in number; two of the hind digits are united. The teeth are sharp and slender. The pouch opens rearward and encloses 6 to 10 teats. Unlike other marsupials, bandicoots have a placenta (lacking villi, however). Most species have two to six young at a time; gestation takes 12–15 days.

      Bandicoots occur in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and nearby islands. They are terrestrial, largely nocturnal, solitary animals that dig funnellike pits in their search for insect and plant food. Farmers consider them pests; some species are endangered, and all have declined.

      The long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles, or Thylacis, nasuta), a vaguely ratlike brown animal whose rump may be black-barred, is the common form in eastern Australia. The three species of short-nosed bandicoots, Isoodon (incorrectly Thylacis), are found in New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania. Rabbit-eared bandicoots, or bilbies, are species of Thylacomys (sometimes Macrotis); now endangered, they are found only in remote colonies in arid interior Australia. As the name implies, they have big narrow ears, long hind legs, and bushy tails. The 35-centimetre- (14-inch-) long, pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) of interior Australia has feet that are almost hooflike, with two toes functional on the forefoot, one on the hind foot. This herbivorous creature, resembling a little deer, is an endangered species and may well be extinct; it was last observed locally in the 1920s.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bandicoot — Ban di*coot, n. [A corruption of the native name.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A species of very large rat ({Mus giganteus}), found in India and Ceylon. It does much injury to rice fields and gardens. (b) A ratlike marsupial animal (genus {Perameles}) of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bandicoot — ● bandicoot nom masculin (mot anglais, du telugu pandi koku, cochon rat) Nom commun à plusieurs mammifères marsupiaux. (Famille des péramélidés.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • bandicoot — 1789, from Telegu pandi kokku, lit. pig rat. Properly a large and destructive Indian rat; applied from 1827 to a type of insectivorous Australian marsupial somewhat resembling it …   Etymology dictionary

  • bandicoot — ► NOUN ▪ a mainly insectivorous marsupial native to Australia and New Guinea. ORIGIN from an Indian language, meaning pig rat …   English terms dictionary

  • bandicoot — [ban′di ko͞ot΄] n. [< Telugu pandikokku, lit., pig rat] 1. a member of either genus (Bandicota and Nesokia, family Muridae) of large rats, found esp. in India and Sri Lanka, that destroy grain and root crops 2. any of an order (Peramelina) of… …   English World dictionary

  • Bandicoot — Peramelidae Péramélidés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bandicoot — Taxobox name = BandicootsMSW3 Groves] image width = 200px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia infraclassis = Marsupialia ordo = Peramelemorphia (in part) subdivision ranks = Families and Genera subdivision = †Chaeropodidae *†… …   Wikipedia

  • bandicoot — Soon after white settlement in 1788 the word bandicoot (the name for the Indian mammal Bandicota indica) was applied to several Australian mammals having long pointed heads and bearing some resemblance to their Indian namesake. In 1799 David… …   Australian idioms

  • bandicoot — /ˈbændikut / (say bandeekooht) noun 1. any of various small, omnivorous, somewhat rat like Australian and New Guinean marsupials of the families Paramelidae and Peroryctidea. 2. any of the very large rats of the genus Bandicota, of India and Sri… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Bandicoot — miserable as a bandicoot Extremely unhappy. Bandicoots are small marsupials with long faces, and have been given a role in Australian English in similes that suggest unhappiness or some kind of deprivation. The expression miserable as a bandicoot …   Australian idioms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.