The Kidney Structure of the Common Wombat (Vombatus-Ursinus) and the Hairy-Nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus-Latifrons) Academic Article uri icon


  • The common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) lives in a mesic habitat whereas the hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) inhabits a xeric habitat. The kidney structure of these two wombats was studied and it was found that kidney size, kidney weight, and kidney weight as a percentage of body weight, were larger in V. ursinus. However, relative medullary thickness, percentage medullary volume, and medullary thickness as a percentage of total thickness, were significantly greater in L. latifrons, suggesting that L. latifrons has a greater capacity to conserve water than does V. ursinus. The number of glomeruli and mean glomerular area were the same in both species whereas the mean diameter of the proximal and distal tubules was larger in V. ursinus. There were more proximal tubules per square millimetre in L. latifrons. The larger number of collecting ducts per square millimetre in the medullary region in L. latifrons indicates that the nephrons join the collecting ducts deep in the medulla, a feature that has been associated with increased urinary concentrating ability. Urinary pH was significantly lower, and urinary ammonia, creatinine and sodium levels were higher, in L. latifrons, as were plasma sodium and chloride levels. These data suggest that L. latifrons has a greater capacity to conserve water.

published proceedings

  • Australian Journal of Zoology

author list (cited authors)

  • Mcallan, B. M., Roberts, .., & Barboza, P. S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Mcallan, BM||Barboza, PS

publication date

  • January 1995