Short-beaked echidna

Has tiny muscle bundles connected to the bottom of each spine so that the spine’s movement and direction can be controlled

Gunjan Pandey

Short-beaked echidnas can be easily recognized by their long protective spines on their back with fur between the spines. The fur varies from light brown to black and is significantly denser in populations that live in colder environments. Their snout is toothless, long, and tubular, with a mouth that allows a sticky worm-like tongue to flick out of.

They are one of the two mammals, along with the platypus, that lays eggs. However, females do not have nipples, so the babies must suck the milk from the skin, known as areola patches connected to the milk glands. They are pretty clever, almost as clever as a domestic cat.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Australia
2015
Indonesia
2015
Papua
Papua New Guinea
2015

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No