Wombats are marsupials found only in Australia, but the short, stubby-legged animals are rarely held in the same regard as other native animals like koalas and kangaroos.

However, these adorable creatures get some much-deserved recognition on Wombat Day, which is recognized on Oct. 22.

In honor of these underappreciated marsupials, here are seven things you might not know about wombats.

1. There are three species of wombats: common wombats, northern hairy-nosed wombats and southern hairy-nosed wombats. While there are thousands of common and southern hairy-nosed wombats in the wild, the northern hairy-nosed wombat is critically endangered.

2. Most Australians have never seen a wombat in the wild because the animals spend most of the daylight hours in their burrows.

3. Although their wide bodies and stubby legs give them the appearance of being slow-moving, wombats can run up to 25 mph over short distances.

4. Wombats produce cube-shaped poop pellets. The peculiar shape is a result of the dryness of the animal’s feces. Wombats are known for having the driest poop of any mammal, a result of their long digestive process, which can take 14 to 18 days. This lengthy process allows wombats to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from their food.

5. Their incisors never stop growing — kind of like guinea pigs — and wombats keep their teeth to a suitable length by chowing down on grasses, bark and roots.

6. While other marsupials have pouches that open at the top toward the mother's head, wombats have backwards pouches. Wombats are burrowing animals, so a backwards-facing pouch prevents soil from falling onto its young.

7. Wombats are adept at tunneling and their burrows are often just large enough for one animal. When an animal such as a dingo attacks a wombat, the marsupial simply turns around and uses its backside as a shield. The animals' rears are covered with thick, tough skin, and wombats have very small tails, making them difficult to grab onto.

Check out the photos below to see just how cute wombats are.

wombat walking

Photo: Andy Tyler/flickr

sleepy baby wombat

Photo: Will Keightley/flickr

wombat in snow

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

wombat drinking from bottle

Photo: ilumove/flickr

wombats eating

Photo: theextramile/flickr

wombat closeup

Photo: Charles Meeks/flickr

wombat in tunnel

Photo: Maarten Danial/flickr

small wombat

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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