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(bandicoots), a family of mammals of the order Marsupialia. The body measures 17–50 cm in length, and the tail 9–26 cm. The weight is as much as 4.7 kg. The muzzle is elongated and pointed. Strong nails adapted to burrowing are on the second, third, and fourth fingers of the front hands. The coloration varies from gray to black-brown on the back; the underparts are lighter. The pouch opens backward. The family comprises eight genera, including 19 species, which are distributed in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea and on nearby islands. The Peramelidae inhabit savannas, coastal thickets, and forests. They are nocturnal and feed mostly on insects. There are two to eight young in a litter. Several species are very rare.