The bandicoot is a member of the orderPeramelemorphia, and the word "bandicoot" is often used informally to refer to any peramelemorph, such as the bilby. The term originally referred to the unrelated Indian bandicoot rat. The word is adopted from a telugu language word "pandi kokku".
The embryos of bandicoots, unlike other marsupials, form a placenta-like organ that connects them 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.
Bandicoots may 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.
^Strahan, R. 1995. Mammals of Australia. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
^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
^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
^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.
^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.
^Travouillon, K. J., Archer, M., Hand, S. J. and Muirhead, J., 2014. Sexually dimorphic bandicoots (Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia) from the Oligo-Miocene of Australia, first cranial ontogeny for fossil bandicoots and new species descriptions. Journal of Mammalian Evolution.doi:10.1007/s10914-014-9271-8
^Stirton, R.A., 1955. Late tertiary marsupials from South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 11, 247-268.
^Travouillon, K.J., Hand, S. J., Archer, M., and Black, K. H., 2014. Earliest modern bandicoot and bilby (Marsupialia, Peramelidae and Thylacomyidae) from the Miocene of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland, Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34:375-382.