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Echidna (Echidna hystrix)

Echidna

The Echidna

 

The Echidna (or affectionately known as the Spiny Anteater) is a primitive mammal. It lives in both Australia and New Guinea.

It is a solitary animal that burrows. When it is attacked, the echidna will burrow into the ground or curl itself into a ball using its spines as a method of defence against the predator. The echidna's spines cover the top of its body. Echidna's have long sharp claws on their feet, and are approximately 35-50 cms long with a 10cm long tail. Their nose is very sensitive, they use this to find food, then they use their long sticky tongue to catch ants, worms and other such insects. Echidna's weigh on average between 2 to 7 kilograms.

Female echidna's lay a single egg in their pouch. After ten days, the egg hatches and a puggle (baby echidna) is born. They are born blind and hairless, and consume milk from a gland within the pouch. After an average of four weeks, the puggle develops sharp spines, and must leave the pouch.

Animal Facts: A young echidna is called a puggle.

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