Continuing in our series of Australian native animal facts, this page contains information and interesting facts about the bilby!
- The bilby is a desert living marsupial.
- There were originally two species of bilby, but one became extinct in the 1950s.
- The name bilby is an Aboriginal word meaning long-nosed rat.
- It is an endangered animal due to habitat loss and competition between them and other animals.
- Bilbies have a long muzzle and very long ears – apparently hearing is not an issue!
- They are burrowers and can build tunnels with their strong limbs and claws.
- The female bilby has a pouch which faces backwards so her pouch does not get filled when she is digging.
- Bilbies are nocturnal omnivores that do not need to drink water – they get all the moisture they need from their food, which includes insects and their larvae, seeds, spiders, bulbs, fruit, fungi and other very small animals.
- Bilbies are only pregnant for 12 to 14 days, one of the shortest of all mammals.
- The bilby also has a long tongue which helps it find/reach food.
- There was a movement to have the Easter bilby replace the Easter bunny in Australia with some of the sales raising money for the protection of these unique little native animals.
- There is a national recovery plan to help revive the bilby population which sees bilbies being bred in captivity and introducing them back to areas where bilbies once lived.
- Bilbies are closely related to the bandicoot.
Check out our products featuring the Australian bilby.