Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts

Another blogging milepost has been reached. There have now been over 200 posts on this blog since it was started in May, 2012. For number 201, I thought I would introduce the celebration for the 200th post by sharing a little information on bilbies. At the end, there is a surprise for the class that received post 200 and something for the class one off at post 199.

Lesser Bilby  (macrotis leucura)

 The lesser bilby (macrotis leucura) is thought to have become extinct in the 1950s.

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Greater Bilby  (macrotis lagotis)

The greater bilby is listed as threatened. Let's learn a little about the greater bilby.

 

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. Author: Dcoetzee

This image was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain. Author: Dcoetzee

From the photo, you can see their size and long ears give them a rabbit-like appearance. While many comment on the likeness of bilbies to rabbits, bilbies are, like kangaroos, marsupials.

Bilbies are nocturnal (they come out at night) and were once found in arid (desert), semi-arid (almost desert) and  some better areas but are now only found  in arid areas.

Greater bilbies can be 29-55cm (11-22in) in length. Males can grow up to 1.0 - 2.4kg (2.2 - 5.3lb) in captivity (zoos and animal sanctuaries) while females can grow to 0.8 - 1.1kg (1.8 - 2.4lb) in the wild.

Bilbies have a good sense of smell and, as you might guess by their ears, good hearing. Like humans, they are omnivores (eat plants and animals). Their diet includes fruits, seeds, fruit, insects, spiders, and other small animals. They find most of their food by scratching and digging in the soil.

Like other marsupials, their young are born (usually 1 to 3 joeys) very small (about 0.5cm of 0.25in after only 12 to 14 days) and must make their way into the mother's pouch where they attach to a teat.

Bilbies live in burrows so bilby mothers have developed pouches facing backward to stop soil getting in or babies being knocked out. Young bilbies leave the pouch after about 70-75 days. A female bilby can have up to four litters per year if conditions are good.

Saving the Bilby

There are zoos and animal sanctuaries with bilby breeding programs in Australia. Possibly the most famous bilby has been named George. He lives in Taronga Zoo's Prince George Bilby Exhibit in Sydney and was given the name in honour of the young Prince George when he visited the zoo with his father and mother,  Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

In 2014, I shared some information with a class about bilbies at Easter time and the sale of chocolate bilbies to help support the Save the Bilby Fund.  Easter has passed again but I wanted to support the Save the Bilby Fund yet again this year. With the 200th post on this blog approaching, I thought I might buy some of the Save the Bilby Fund items in order to give the class receiving the 200th as well as some items for the classes one off at the 199th and 201st posts.

The class that received the 200th post will get the following package of Save the Bilby items...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The 199th post class will receive the pack pictured below with a smaller bilby.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Your class missed out on the 199th or 200th post?

I have one extra pack pictured below. It was meant to be sent to the class receiving the 201st post but work I do for local schools and community groups has meant my time has been short and I am about to share another milestone for this blog. Any class leaving a comment for this post has the chance of receiving the pack below. You don't need to have received a post or to have ever visited this blog. You simply need to be a school class. Individual students need to ask permission from their teacher before leaving a comment because the pack will only be sent to a class not the student with the winning comment. I will randomly select a winning comment in two weeks (June 6, 2015).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

How do you get a post on this blog?

As the name of the blog implies, most posts on this blog are written as a comment for a class or student blog post when content has caught my interest and I wish to share more than a simple comment. Others can be made in reply to a comment or question left in the comments section of this blog's posts. You can ask directly for a post on a topic but the decision to write a post depends on whether I feel I can and if I have time but the answer is usually yes if a class wants information.

8 thoughts on “Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts

  1. Roadrunners- Mrs. Todd

    Mr. Mannell,
    We don’t have bilbies or kangaroos in North Carolina. We learned a lot about kangaroos during our study of Australian animals but this was our first chance to learn about the bilby. We thought he was cute and thought living in a burrow was like some animals we have like rabbits and groundhogs. The backward pouch was an interesting feature that we weren’t familiar with. Some of us thought he looked like a big mouse with large ears.
    We wondered if a bilby could survive here in North Carolina. He has short legs in the front like the kangaroo and the big feet larger back legs. We were surprised he would eat spiders and insects. We thought he’d be like our rabbit and groundhog and eat grass and plants. We would like to see one in person but at least we got to explore your blog and links to learn about this unique animal and his habitat.

    Reply
  2. Denise Krebs

    Thank you, Mr. Mannell, for the comments on our blog! You are so thoughtful. This is reading week in KG, so this morning we enjoyed reading about bilbies on your blog. (We’re even wearing pajamas today!)

    We hope the greater bilbies can be taken off the threatened list and make a strong recovery!

    Thank you again for all the sharing you do,
    Mrs. Denise and KG students

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Denise & KG,

      The random number 2 came up so you will be receiving the bilby pack mentioned in this post. You will need to email me the school’s address. 🙂

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  3. Miss Jordan and 4B

    Dear Ross,

    We were so excited to find out that your extended comment about our blog post was in fact, your 200th post! Wow! We were even more excited yesterday morning, when a special parcel arrived in the mail containing a lovely book, card and two very cute bilbies! Thank you so much!

    The bilbies will be good playmates with Leo the Lion and your old friend, Eucy the koala.

    We are still selecting names for the bilbies, we will let you know when we decide.

    We thank you again for your kindness, generosity and your continued support with our class blog.

    Best wishes,
    Miss Jordan and 4B

    Reply
  4. The Blogging Hawks

    Hello, Ross!

    200 posts is a BIG milestone. We think, this year, that we may hit 20-ish by the end of the year! We calculated it out … it’s almost like you are writing about FOUR posts a WEEK! Gulp! We don’t know how you fit it all in with all your DVD work, and all the other things you do for people.

    We are jealous of Prince George … he got to see the Australian bilbies in PERSON! Now that Prince George has a baby sister … we wonder if Princess CHARLOTTE will be lucky enough to see the bilbies in person! We HOPE so. We saw the video of Prince George trying to touch the bilbies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ij9s9XG7rw. It was funny when Prince George tried to touch them! We love their long, pointy, pink noses! Their ears look like rabbit ears but their legs look more mouse-like.

    We wonder why the lesser bilby became extinct in the 1950s. It makes us sad because we know that there are a lot of animals around the world that are endangered or at risk. We are VERY proud of you for supporting the Save the Bilby fund. We don’t want the greater bilby to become extinct like the lesser bilby. Thank you for helping us to learn a bit more about this adorable creature!

    The Blogging Hawks 🙂

    Reply
  5. Denise Krebs

    Thank you, Mr. Mannell! We will surely be looking forward to receiving the bilbies pack. Thank you so very much for all you do for school children all over the world!

    Denise and students

    Reply
  6. Roadrunners- Mrs. Todd

    Thank you so much for the give away package. The kids loved seeing a bilby and the story was great. We had never heard it before so it was a brand new story to us about the Bilby and his friends. The first and second graders especially liked the Bilby. The older students new about other endangered animals and made a connection there.

    We are now on summer break here and it’s hot. Almost 100 degrees F. Very humid also so not outside weather.

    Thanks again for the package of items.

    Reply

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