Just in time for Christmas

2005-11-22

in Science

http://www.pcug.org.au/~alanlevy/Thumbnails/Images/Skiing/Wombat.JPG

Some recent comments reminded me of one of my greatest inventions ever, and an excellent Christmas gift: the ever-popular Wombat Kits. They contain everything required to make a wombat: primarily sedges, grasses, and roots. The logic behind them runs as follows:

  1. Pregnant wombats eat grass.
  2. Pregnant wombats make baby wombats.
  3. Therefore, baby wombats can be made from grass.
  4. Baby wombats eat grass.
  5. Baby wombats become adult wombats.
  6. Therefore, baby wombats can be made into adult wombats, using grass.
  7. Ergo, adult wombats can be made from grass. Q.E.D.

The logic is unassailable, and the kits also contain detailed anatomical diagrams of wombats: for ease of assembly. Once you’ve made a male and a female, you can make additional wombats from additional grass with considerably increased efficiency.

For those who have grown tired of the lesser challenges of building model ships or stable two-state solutions in the Middle East, wombat kits promise hours of enjoyment.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

B November 22, 2005 at 5:15 pm

1. Delicious cake can be made from flour, sugar, cocoa, butter, etc.
2. Cakes I make from flour, sugar, cocoa, butter, etc. are not delicious.
3. I cannot make delicious cake from flour, sugar, cocoa, butter, etc.

Apply the above to the wombat kit concept.

Milan November 22, 2005 at 5:16 pm

It’s like building a ship in a bottle; it isn’t easy.

If you don’t have the skills, you may very well end up with one bad wombat.

Anonymous November 22, 2005 at 5:26 pm

I am going to make a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Wicked!

Anonymous November 22, 2005 at 5:30 pm

In case you didn’t already know, there is a wombat themed web comic.

Milan November 22, 2005 at 5:39 pm

This comic is awesome. Thanks!

Milan November 22, 2005 at 5:50 pm

I just wish Kerrie Thornhill hadn’t vanished from the internet. She is the Queen of Web Comics.

Anonymous November 22, 2005 at 6:40 pm

I wish I could post the picture of Milan’s first wombat attempt (lost the picture). It was named the Ugly Wombat. Unfortunate creature.

Meghan

MPI November 22, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Meghan,

Is this the one you had in mind? My efforts have improved considerably since.

Anonymous November 22, 2005 at 10:03 pm

The very one. You have produced many cuter and cuddlier wombats since.

Meghan

Anonymous November 23, 2005 at 1:26 am

Poor fellow.

Milan December 7, 2005 at 2:00 am

[Editorial note: Internal links shifted to new domain, 6 DEC 2005.]

Milan March 17, 2006 at 10:18 am

Wombats usually give birth to a single young, but twins do occur.

The gestation period for a wombat is 20 to 22 days. At birth, the baby wombat, called a joey, is extremely small and undeveloped. It will weigh approximately 2 grams, less than one-tenth of an ounce, and be about the size of a jelly bean, 2 cm (0.75 inches) long. The joey is hairless with very thin skin and is unable to keep itself warm. They’re blind and their ears do not function, but they have a large mouth and tongue, and a well-developed sense of smell.

As soon as it is born, the baby wombat will crawl into its mother’s pouch and attach itself to one of the mother’s teats. The teat will swell up in the joey’s mouth which keeps the joey attached to the teat and helps to prevent the joey from falling out of the backwards-opening pouch.

The wombat will remain in the pouch nursing and developing for 4 to 10 months, usually averaging about 8 months. At first the young wombat will leave the pouch for only short periods. When disturbed or frightened, it will return to the mother’s pouch for safety. After one to three months, the wombat will no longer use the pouch but may still hide under or behind its mother for protection.

Source

Jessica May 24, 2006 at 11:12 pm

Right now the Digger archives are free as Ursula was nominated for an Eisner award? I’m not sure for how long they will remain free, but it likely won’t be much longer, as the awards are handed out in mid-July.

Get ’em while they’re hot!

WombatFan May 22, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Likely to go extinct within 10 years, according to Scientific American:

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat Lasiorhinus krefftii Wombats are Australian marsupials with burly builds, stocky legs and powerful claws for burrowing underground tunnels. The northern hairy-nosed variety is the largest wombat, growing as long as one meter and as heavy as 40 kilograms. It also has exceptionally soft fur and a clumsy, waddling gait (yet can run as fast as 40 kilometers per hour). A mere 100 individuals survive in a small, protected area in Queensland.

. June 27, 2008 at 10:01 am

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