A nocturnal rodent (1), the short-tailed bandicoot rat spends most of its time in a burrow (2). The burrow, which comprises many tunnels and chambers, including one lined with vegetation for nesting (3), may reach depths of 60 centimetres (3) and be up to 9 metres long (2), covering an area of up to 120 square metres (4).
Typically, a single short-tailed bandicoot rat occupies each burrow (3), and the burrow provides the rat not only with shelter, but also with food. This is because it feeds on the underground parts of plants, a behaviour which can cause considerable crop damage in agricultural areas (4). The rat also causes damage to crop irrigation channels when its burrows extend into the channel banks, resulting in erosion (5). It only remains in a burrow complex while it contains sufficient food resources, after which is creates a new burrow, often adjacent to the previous one (6). This species also feeds on grass, grains, roots and cultivated fruit and vegetables (2) (3).
The short-tailed bandicoot rat is thought to reproduce throughout the year, producing a litter containing up to ten young, after a gestation period of around 17 days (1). It may fall prey to many different predators, including jackals, foxes, weasels, vipers, and birds of prey (4), from which it attempts to defend itself by biting fiercely (2).