Marsupials: Numbats

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11434

What's your favorite food? Hot dogs? Ice cream? Insects? If you want to watch a marsupial eat termites (yes, lots of termites!), this lesson is for you! Live the life of a numbat (on paper, that is)!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look at this fragile little critter!

  • What would you call it?

This marsupial is called a numbat.

Numbats are pouched mammals that are marsupials.

If you have followed the lessons in this unit of study, Marsupials, you have learned about many different types of marsupials.

  • Remember that kangaroos, koalas, gliders, and wombats are some of the marsupials you have learned about so far?

In this lesson, you will learn about numbats!

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The home of the numbat is found in Australia. Here they can be found living in eucalyptus forests in hollow logs.

  • Do you remember another type of marsupial that lives in hollow logs?

Great job! Gliders can also be found living in hollow logs.

Numbats are unlike most marsupials because they are not nocturnal. They sleep in their hollow logs during the night and search for food all day long.

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  • What do you think a numbat eats?

Watch Numbat Feeding, from Project Numbat, to find out: 

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As you could see in the video, the numbat was feeding on little termites.

  • What was it using to catch the termites?

That's right! It was using its long, skinny tongue.

Numbats are insectivores. They only eat meat from insects. Their favorite snacks include ants and termites.

  • Did you know a numbat will eat around 20,000 insects a day?


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Numbats have four babies at a time. These babies don't live in a pouch, though! Their mothers do not have pouches. Instead, the baby numbats stay attached to their mothers until they are about six or seven months old.

By the time they are eight or nine months old, they will start exploring their home. When they are almost a year old, they will be completely independent from their mother.

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  • Do you remember what numbats are active?

Review the answer in the Got It? section and learn even more about numbats.

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