The awesome animal for this episode is the bandicoot. Bandicoots make an appearance in several of my novels (in Savage they are a common food source for the aboriginal tribe... although there is something mysterious and strange about those bandicoots).
Like many of the mammals in New Guinea (and Australia), bandicoots are marsupials (young are nurtured in a pouch on the female's abdomen).
Most species of bandicoots are about the size of a rabbit, although the Giant Bandicoot, which lives only in southeast New Guinea, is almost a meter long and over ten pounds. Although bandicoots look a little like rats, they hop like rabbits when they run, and they are fast!
Awesome facts about bandicoots:
They have a high-pitched, bird-like call they use to locate each other.
Baby bandicoots are born after a very short gestation period--only 11 days! At that point they are very tiny and they move into the mother's pouch to develop further.
The mother's pouch is open facing the rear, to prevent dirt from entering the pouch as the mother digs for food.
Males have a "bifurcated" penis, with two ends. Why? Because the female has two vaginas!
Want to see bandicoots in action? Check out this video from ZoosVictoria
So, bandicoots deserve a spot in the E.A.H.O.F. (Eximious Animal Hall of Fame).
Fun Fact: Eximious is a word that was commonly used in 17th century literature as a way of describing someone distinguished. It basically means "awesome!"
Eastern Barred Bandicoot - ZoosVictoria (https://www.zoo.org.au/werribee/animals/eastern-barred-bandicoot)
Bandicoot in Hand - Reuters (https://www.buzzfeed.com/aliciamelvillesmith/baby-bandicoot-crashes-into-our-hearts)
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