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Bandicoots are a group of about 20 species of small to medium-sized, terrestrial marsupial omnivores in the order Peramelemorphia. They are endemic to Australia.


The word itself is often used as a common name for any of them, and is an anglicised form of the Telugu word పందికొక్కు (pandi-kokku), loosely, pig-rat.[1] which originally referred to the unrelated Indian Bandicoot Rat. The other two species of peramelemorphs are the bilbies.


They are one of the few species that have a bifurcated penis.[2]

The embryos of bandicoots, unlike other marsupials, form a placenta-like organ that connects it to the uterine wall.[3] The function of this organ is probably to transfer nutrients from the mother; however the structure is small, compared to those of the Placentalia.

They may also serve as a primary reservoir for Coxiella burnetii. Infection is transmitted among them by ticks. These are then transmitted to domestic animals (cattle, sheep and poultry). The infected domestic animals shed them in urine, faeces, and placental products. It is transmitted to humans causing Q fever by inhalation of aerosols of these materials. Main symptoms may be pneumonia and/or hepatitis.


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, nearly carnivorous bilbies. In recent years, however, it has become clear that the situation is more complex. First, the bandicoots of the New Guinean and far-northern Australian rainforests were deemed distinct from all other bandicoots and were grouped together in the separate family Peroryctidae. More recently, the bandicoot families were reunited in Peramelidae, with the New Guinean species split into four genera in two subfamilies, Peroryctinae and Echymiperinae, while the "true bandicoots" occupy the subfamily Peramelinae. The only exception is the now extinct Pig-footed bandicoot, which has been given its own family, Chaeropodidae.


  1. ^ "Definition of bandicoot from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ George A. Feldhamer (2007). Mammalogy: adaptation, diversity, ecology. JHU Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8018-8695-9. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  4. ^ K.J. Travouillon; Y. Gurovich; R.M.D. Beck; J. Muirhead (2010). "An exceptionally well-preserved short-snouted bandicoot (Marsupialia; Peramelemorphia) from Riversleigh's Oligo-Miocene deposits, northwestern Queensland, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (5): 1528–1546. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.501463
  5. ^ K. J. Travouillon, Y. Gurovich, M. Archer, S. J. Hand and J. Muirhead (2013). "The genus Galadi: three new bandicoots (Marsupialia, Peramelemorphia) from Riversleigh’s Miocene deposits, northwestern Queensland, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33 (1): 153–168. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.713416
  6. ^ Gurovich, Y., Travouillon, K.J., Beck, R.M.D., Muirhead, J., Archer, M., 2013. Biogeographical implications of a new mouse-sized fossil bandicoot (Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia) occupying a dasyurid-like ecological niche across Australia. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
  7. ^ Travouillon, K.J., Beck, R.M.D., Hand, S.J., Archer, M., 2013b. The oldest fossil record of bandicoots (Marsupialia; Peramelemorphia) from the late Oligocene of Australia. Palaeontologia Electronica 16, 13A 52p.
  8. ^ Strahan, R. 1995. Mammals of Australia. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  9. ^ Stirton, R.A., 1955. Late tertiary marsupials from South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 11, 247-268.