The Sea Wombat has been sighted in the North Atlantic Sea and across the Strait of Gabaltra.
The Sea Wombat (Dasyurus Manarius) is one of the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world. It has a squat and thick build, with a large head and a tail which is about half its body length. The sea wombat stores body fat in its tail, so unhealthy wombat often have thin tails. Unusual for a marsupial, its forelegs are slightly longer than its hind legs. Devils can swim at up to 13 km (8.1 mi) per hour for short distances. The sea wombat has to come to the surface of the water it inhabits for oxygen because although it is an aquatic animal it is also a marsupial.
Contrary to their names, the Sea Wombat is actualy distantly related to the tasmanian devil more closely than the wombats that share its name. This is quite astonishing given that their relatives live all the way down in Australia. It is believed that the ancestors of the sea wombat evolved from the now also endangered tasmanian tigers in that part of the world
The fur is usually black, although irregular white patches on the chest and rump are common. Males are usually larger than females, having an average head and body length of 652 mm (25.7 in), with a 258 mm (10.2 in) tail, and an average weight of 8 kg (18 lb). Females have an average head and body length of 570 mm (22 in), with a 244 mm (9.6 in) tail, and an average weight of 6 kg (13 lb). The average life expectancy of a Tasmanian Devil in the wild is estimated at six years, although they may live longer in captivity.
The Sea Wombat has yet to be listed on the Endangered Species list. However, several reports have listed their numbers to be criticaly low for its breeding requirements. This is not believed to be a man-made problem but rather the result of gradual tectonic shifts in the earth's plates that have gradualy disturbed their habitat. The result has been their scarcity. Although the Sea Wombat is spread out across the North Atlantic, there are not many of them and the few that are found are often rescued
If you are a regular scuba diver you may very well come across a sea wombat. If so, we urge you to record the location and any other details of the sighting. Your local animal rescue agency will contact organisations such at the Save the Sea Wombat foundation to rescue the animal. These are cared for in enclosed coral reef's where the wombat's may see another of their own species for the very first time. Otherwise, there are various ways you can help do your bit!
1) Write a letter to your local representatives to let them know that you are concerned and that you feel the North Atlantic Tree Wombat should be included on the Endangered Species List
2) Talk to your family and friends about the Sea Wombat. There is little awareness about this little animal and not much done to protect it. Even a quick word with your neighbours will ensure that action is taken to save our little friends.
3) Design posters or handouts to hand around the neighbourhood. The more people that know, the better! Pass on a copy of this website url or if you are a school student, research the Sea Wombat for a school assignment
A picture taken on the 2nd September 2006 : sent in by William Smith : A researcher for the Centre for Marine Sustainability on a family holiday
feel free to send in copies of your own pictures, questions of comments to our email adress at:
'Together we can make a differance'