N is for Numbat
The Numbat is unique among Australian mammals and is the animal emblem of Western Australia. It is a highly specialised termite eating marsupial so they have long, reddish-pink, sticky tongues about 10 cm in length.
Numbats are diurnal, they feed in the day instead of during the night (unlike most Australian mammals).
They have the highest visual acuity of any marsupial (a high number of cone cells in their retina) which also helps them detect predators.
Along with excellent eyesight, numbats have a well-developed sense of smell, they can sniff out the shallow underground feeding galleries of termites.
Numbats have more teeth than any other land animal (50 to 52) and strangely enough, they are not used for eating. Their teeth are poorly developed and do not normally protrude above their gums.
Even though baby numbats cling to their mother's belly for five months, they do not have a pouch. The young attach to four teats but sometimes they also wrap their forelimbs around their mother's belly hairs.
They only live in forested areas and prefer eucalyptus trees.
The main threat to Numbats is predation by introduced predators – foxes and cats. This is exacerbated by other factors including habitat loss and fragmentation from land clearing which also makes Numbats more vulnerable to birds of prey such as Wedge-tailed Eagles and falcons.