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Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Macrotis lagotis
Phylum: 
Chordata
Species class: 
Mammalia
Order: 
Peramelemorphia
Family: 
Thylacomyidae
Genus: 
Macrotis
Species: 
lagotis
Status: 
Vulnerable
Population Trend: 
Decreasing
Quick Facts

Lifespan: 6 years in the wild and 10 years in human care

Weight: Up to 2.5kgs

Size: body length up to 55cm plus a tail of up to 29cm. Females are about half the size of males.

Fun Facts
  • Some Australian use the bilby as the symbol of Easter. The now popularised Easter Bilby has raised further awareness of its plight in the wild as well as funds to support conservation efforts
  • Their large, hairless ears assist them in keeping cool as well as hearing predators
  • The females have a backwards facing pouch so it does not fill with dirt when digging
  • The hind limbs have two small toes that grow close together on the inside of their large middle toe. Like a kangaroo this ‘double nail)  is used for grooming
  • They have the smallest gestation period of all the mammals; only 12-16 days.
Distribution Map: 

Greater Bilby

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At Taronga:

Taronga Zoo is currently home to a beautiful family of four charismatic Bilbies; Mum Jayala and Dad George are the proud parents of the not so little joeys Tanami and Terrari who were born in 2014. Taronga Zoo celebrated the birth of its first-ever Bilby joeys just after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Taronga on 20 April for the dedication of the Prince George Bilby Exhibit, part of the Australian government’s official gift following his birth in mid-2013.

Yajala arrived from Monarto Zoo in 2013 and her successful pairing with Taronga’s resident male, also named George, is a triumph for the national breeding program for this threatened marsupial species. George is a real character; he is definitely not a morning bilby and loves his heater, often lying on his back in front of it with his legs in the air. As an important ambassador for his species he has been trained to run up the Nocturnal House corridor and can be hand fed and patted by guests on tours, raising awareness of this beautiful native species.

Region: 
Source: 
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Year assessed: 
2008