Pig-footed Bandicoot

The Pig-footed Bandicoot was a small marsupial around the size of a small cat that was found in Australia. Currently the Pig-footed Bandicoot is classed as extinct however recent studies in 2007 led many a researcher to believe there may still be a small population that is currently unknown to mankind. Its safe to say that the Pig-footed Bandicoot is some what of a cryptid species.

The Pig-footed Bandicoot made its home throughout a variety of terrain from open plains to woodland and was a strange example of a marsupial. Upon first inspection the Pig-footed Bandicoot resembles a Bilby however it have a number of unique physical features that are relatively unknown in other marsupial species, setting it apart from its genetic relatives.

pigfootedbandicoot1 Pig footed Bandicoot
Pig-footed Bandicoot specimen
Pig-footed Bandicoot specimen

Curiously the front feet of the Pig-footed Bandicoot resembled that of a deer or pig as the Pig-footed Bandicoot had functional toes with almost hoof-like nails. The hind feet of the Pig-footed Bandicoot had a fourth toe which was shaped like a small horse hoof. Along with these unique traits the Pig-footed Bandicoot also had a claw on its hind feet used for grooming.

The Pig-footed Bandicoot was well on its way to becoming extinct by the turn of the 20th century and even when it was first discovered by Europeans back in 1836 it is thought that the population was in decline. Its believed that a while before the first European settlers arrived that the Pig-footed Bandicoot was relatively common throughout.

pigfootedbandicoot2 Pig footed Bandicoot
Later specimen - after death
Later specimen - after death

The exact reason for the extinction of the Pig-footed Bandicoot is still a mystery, however there are a couple of theories as to the reason for their extinction. Normally an extinction such as this would likely be blamed on the introduction of predators to the Pig-footed Bandicoot’s native habit by European settlers however at this point neither foxes or rabbits had been brought over to Australia.

The first theory for the extinction of the Pig-footed Bandicoot is closely related to the indigenous Aborigines. Initially the Aborigines has their own methods for land management and they used to practice burning patches of the fauna and woodland in order to rejuvenate the soil however after Europeans arrived this was stopped and many Aborigines died from diseases brought by the Europeans. This could have change the Pig-footed Bandicoot’s habitat drastically.

The second theory for the extinction of the Pig-footed Bandicoot is that the introduction of animals such as sheep would have severely changed the soil compound and of  course the Pig-footed Bandicoot’s habitat. It could possibly have been a combination of both of the theories.

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