Short-beaked Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus

Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna
Echidnas are prehistoric mammals with many reptilian and other unusual features. There are two living genera: the Short-beaked and the Long-beaked, both native to Australia and New Guinea. Despite appearances, the species shown on this page is actually the Short-beaked, which is smaller in size and has longer hair and spines. Also called the Spiny Anteaters, Echidnas are not directly related to the South American anteaters nor to spiny porcupines or hedgehogs. Their closest relative is the even more unusual Duck-billed Platypus.
Short-beaked Echidna The snout has no teeth but a long and sticky tongue.
Short-beaked Echidna Diet is ants and termites with some small beetle larvae/worms.
Short-beaked Echidna "He went that way"
Echidnas, like the Platypus and many reptiles, lay leathery eggs instead of live young. After an amazing courtship ritual whereby a "train" of males follow the female for several days and some unusual mating aspects, a single, grape-sized egg is laid and kept in a marsupial-like pouch. When this egg hatches, the young, called a "puggle" is fed milk through special patches on the mothers' skin inside the pouch. The puggle is evicted and moved to a burrow when the spines begin to grow but is fed for a few more months (if not predated) until it leaves home. Outside of the mating season, Echidnas are solitary.
Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidnas live in many types of habitat and altitude, wherever there are ants/termites. They are diurnal in mild weather but crepuscular or nocturnal in extreme heat and will hibernate in cold weather. They have matted fur under the spines and strong claws for digging. They will dig to escape predators, leaving a spiny back exposed, or will roll into a spiny ball. They can also swim well, with the snout above water like a snorkel. The young puggles, however, are extremely vulnerable to predators (native and introduced) and the adults are hunted for meat.