Behavior

Mutual avoidance is the predominant social behavior and most bandicoots are essentially solitary. During courtship and mating, male and female bandicoots associate for a limited time and several males may mate with a single female. The young may follow their mother for a short time after permanent emergence from the nest. Male-male interactions are always aggressive and in captivity will result in serious injury or death. Most species are nocturnal, some more strictly so than others, but southern brown bandicoots are often diur-

A northern brown bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) foraging for insects in leaf litter in Eucalyptus forest. (Photo by B. G. Thomson/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A northern brown bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) on the grass. (Photo by Tom & Pam Gardner/FLPA-Images of Nature. Reproduced by permission.)

nal. Bandicoots adopt several distinct postures when at rest, but when alert will often stand tripedally, with one foreleg raised and retracted towards the body, or stand erect on their hindfeet. Locomotion is quadrupedal and involves walking, running, galloping, and leaping. The latter is believed to be an escape mechanism. Vocalization is restricted to honks, snorts, and sneezes, which may be used to clear the nostrils after digging.

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