A bandicoot is any of about 8 species of small to medium-sized, terrestrial marsupial omnivores in the subfamily Peramelinae (the true bandicoots) of the family Peramelidae; or in a broader sense, any of about 21 species of fairly similar animals in the order Peramelemorphia. more...
This page describes the true bandicoots. The word bandicoot is the anglicised version of "pandhikoku" (piglike) in Telugu language, the species that was originally called bandicoot is the Bandicoot Rat also known as Indian bandicoot.
Classification within the Peramelemorphia used to be simple: there were thought to be two families in the order—the short-legged and mostly herbivorous bandicoots, and the longer-legged, more nearly carnivorous bilbies. In recent years, however, it has become clear that the rainforest bandicoots of New Guinea and far-northern Australia are distinct from all other bandicoots, and these remain within the order but are now grouped together in the separate family Peroryctidae.
The bilbies, on the other hand, despite their distinct appearance and habits, are more closely related to the true bandicoots than they look, and they are now regarded as merely a subfamily within the Peramelidae.
The embryos of bandicoots, unlike other marsupials, form a placenta-like organ that connects it to the uterine wall. The function of this organ is probably to transfer nutrients from the mother; however the structure is small compared to those of the placentalia.
- ORDER PERAMELEMORPHIA
- Family Peramelidae
- Subfamily Peramelinae:
- Western Barred Bandicoot, Perameles bougainville
- Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii
- Long-nosed Bandicoot, Perameles nasuta
- Desert Bandicoot, Perameles eremiana (extinct)
- Golden Bandicoot, Isoodon auratus
- Northern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon macrourus
- Southern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus
- Pig-footed Bandicoot, Chaeropus ecaudatus (extinct)
- Subfamily Thylacomyinae: bilbies, 2 species
- Family Peroryctidae: rainforest bandicoots, about 11 species in 4 genera
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