This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Word To Use Today: wombat.


Well, why not? It's such a lovely word.

And such a lovely thing, too:

That's a Common Wombat, but there are also Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats and Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats, a fact which almost makes me swoon with joy.

This is a Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

Endangered ... the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat, the rarest big mammal on earth.

And this is a Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat.

All wombats are about a metre long and eat vegetables.

And they're wonderful, too.

To start with, they have their pouches on backwards (with the opening at the back) so as not to throw earth at their babies when they dig.

A wombat's poos are famously cube shaped.

Wombat bottoms are made out of cartilage (the stuff your nose is made of) so predators can't catch hold of them with their teeth.

If a predator follows a wombat into its burrow, the wombat may let the predator get above it and then crush the predator's skull against the roof of the tunnel by pushing upwards.

See? Wonderful!

Word To Use Today: wombat. This word comes from the language of the Aboriginal Darug People, who used to live in the Sydney area. The word was first recorded in English in 1798 by John Price and James Wilson.

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