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Wombats make tunnels to escape daytime heat.

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Posted July 31, 2013. Photo courtesy of ABQ BioPark.

The Tasmanian wombat (Vombatus ursinus tasmaniensis) is an Australian marsupial and the world’s largest burrowing animal. A cousin to the koala, the wombat is a solitary creature that will aggressively defend its territory from other wombats. The wombat has developed a unique defense mechanism—its backside is made of tough skin that acts as a shield to protect the animal from harm.

The ABQ BioPark is now the only zoo in the United States to feature Tasmanian wombats. Look for these nocturnal critters in the Australia exhibit at one of the last two Zoo Music concerts on August 2 or 9.

Wombats burrow in the day and come out at night to avoid the hottest temperatures. What are your best tips for keeping cool this summer? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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