Bilbies are solitary animals. Observed groups appear to gather only in response to available food resources and show no social cohesion. Males show some territoriality by scent-marking, but there are no signs of physical aggression towards other males. Both males and females hold overlapping home

The tail of the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) is half black and half white. (Photo by Howard Hughes/Nature Focus, Australian Museum. Reproduced by permission.)

ranges, with the male ranges considerably larger. These home ranges are often temporary in nature, however, since bilbies make regular seasonal movements in response to changing food availability.

The pock-marked arid landscapes of central Australia are testimony to bilby burrowing activity. Each individual digs a number of burrows within its home range to shelter in during the day. There can be as many as 12 spiraling burrows, each up to 10 ft (3 m) long. The entrance is usually at the foot of a shrub or grass hummock, or against the base of a termite mound.

This animal can run surprisingly fast, although in an ungainly fashion, with the tail held up off the ground, the hind

Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis). (Illustration by Bruce Worden)

feet moving together and the front feet alternately. It rarely strays more than 330 ft (100 m) from a burrow. A bilby may visit several burrows during the night, before selecting one in which to spend the next day.

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