Bandicoots are a group of about 20 species of small to large-sized, terrestrial marsupial omnivores in the order Peramelemorphia. They are endemic to the AustraliaNew Guinea region.


The bandicoot is a member of the order Peramelemorphia, and the word "bandicoot" is often used informally to refer to any peramelemorph, such as the bilby.[1] The term originally referred to the unrelated Indian bandicoot rat from the Telugu word Pandikokku (పందికొక్కు).[2]


Most marsupials, including bandicoots, have a bifurcated penis.[3]

The embryos of bandicoots have a chorioallantoic placenta that connects them to the uterine wall, in addition to the choriovitelline placenta that is common to all marsupials.[4] However, the chorioallantoic placenta is small compared to those of the Placentalia, and lacks chorionic villi.

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.

Vernacular names

Blust (1982, 1993, 2002, 2009)[13][14][15][16] reconstructs the form *mansar or *mansər ‘bandicoot’ for Proto-Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian (i.e., the reconstructed most recent common ancestor of the Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages), but the validity of this reconstruction is doubted by Schapper (2011).[17] It is known as aine in the Abinomn language of Papua, Indonesia.[18]

The character Crash Bandicoot is a mutant eastern barred bandicoot, titular protagonist of the Sony PlayStation game, chosen in the late 1990s to compete as a mascot with Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo's Mario.[19] Paleontologists have named an extinct Australian Miocene-era bandicoot, Crash bandicoot, after the character.[12] The species name is unusual, being adopted entirely unaltered, with no attempt at returning to Latin or Greek roots.

There are 3 anthropomorphic bandicoots so far in the Sonic Boom television series, twin sisters Perci[20]-Staci[21] and Bruce Bandicoot.[22]


  1. "Definition of bandicoot from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  2. Satpathy, Sumanyu (30 September 2017). "A tea party with Topiwalla and Alice". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. "Natural History Collections: Anatomical Differences". Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  4. Feldhamer, George A. (2007). Mammalogy: adaptation, diversity, ecology. JHU Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8018-8695-9.
  5. Strahan, R. (1995). Mammals of Australia. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  6. Travouillon, K. J.; Gurovich, Y.; Beck, R. M. D.; Muirhead, J. (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. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.501463.
  7. Travouillon, K. J.; Gurovich, Y.; Archer, M.; Hand, S. J.; Muirhead, J. (2013). "The genus Galadi: Three new bandicoots (Marsupialia, Peramelemorphia) from Riversleigh's Miocene deposits, northwestern Queensland, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 33: 153. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.713416.
  8. Gurovich, Yamila; Travouillon, Kenny J.; Beck, Robin M. D.; Muirhead, Jeanette; Archer, Michael (2013). "Biogeographical implications of a new mouse-sized fossil bandicoot (Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia) occupying a dasyurid-like ecological niche across Australia". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 12 (3): 265. doi:10.1080/14772019.2013.776646.
  9. Travouillon, K.J., Beck, R.M.D., Hand, S.J., Archer, M. (2013). "The oldest fossil record of bandicoots (Marsupialia; Peramelemorphia) from the late Oligocene of Australia". Palaeontologia Electronica. 16 (2): 13A.1–13A.52.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. Travouillon, Kenny J.; Archer, Michael; Hand, Suzanne J.; Muirhead, Jeanette (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. 22 (2): 141. doi:10.1007/s10914-014-9271-8.
  11. Stirton, R.A. (1955). "Late tertiary marsupials from South Australia". Records of the South Australian Museum 11, 247–268.
  12. Travouillon, K. J.; Hand, S. J.; Archer, M.; 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 (2): 375. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.799071.
  13. Blust, Robert. 1982. The linguistic value of the Wallace Line. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 138:231–50.
  14. Blust, Robert. 1993. Central and Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian. Oceanic Linguistics 32:241–93.
  15. Blust, Robert. 2002. The history of faunal terms in Austronesian languages. Oceanic Linguistics 41:89–139.
  16. Blust, Robert. 2009. The position of the languages of eastern Indonesia: A Reply to Donohue and Grimes. Oceanic Linguistics 48:36–77.
  17. Schapper, Antoinette (2011). "Phalanger Facts: Notes on Blust's Marsupial Reconstructions". Oceanic Linguistics. 50 (1). doi:10.1353/ol.2011.0004.
  18. Foley, William A. (2018). "The languages of Northwest New Guinea". In Palmer, Bill (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. The World of Linguistics. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 433–568. ISBN 978-3-11-028642-7.
  19. Making Crash Bandicoot – part 2. All Things Andy Gavin (2011-01-15). Retrieved on 2017-07-07.
  20. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (18 July 2015). Retrieved on 20 July 2015. “Tom Clancy's: Is Perci a bandicoot? / Bill Freiberger: Yes, she is.”
  21. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (7 September 2015). Retrieved on 7 September 2015. “Jenny Mai Anh Ngo: Hey! Does Perci have an identical twin sister?! / Bill Freiberger: Yes, her name is Staci.”
  22. Grenier, Benoit (21 October 2017). "Don't Make Me Angry". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 100. Boomerang.
  • The dictionary definition of bandicoot at Wiktionary
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