What Is An Echidna

Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by Neil Mackengie

One of the strangest animals you could see is an echidna or spiny ant-eater. The echidna has long claws, a tubelike snout, and a covering of short, stiff spines like that of a hedgehog or porcupine. But what makes it strange is that although it is a mammal, it lays eggs! This animal and the platypus, or duckbill, are the only mammals that lay eggs like birds and most reptiles.

What Is An Echidna

Also, even though it is a mammal, like birds and reptiles it has only a single body opening. This serves both for the elimination of all body wastes and for laying eggs. The platypus and the spiny anteater are therefore called “monotremes”, which means “a single opening”.

The spiny anteater is equipped for a life of digging and for gathering ants and insects as its principal food. The echidna lives in Australia and New Guinea. It has legs that are short and powerful with long, curved claws for digging. The snout is long and narrow and shaped like a tube. It has a sticky, wormlike tongue that it can thrust out to catch insects. At breeding time, the female echidna develops a pouch on her under- side. This pouch opens to the rear. No one is certain how the eggs get into the pouch. But at egg-laying time the female probably curls her body so that one or two eggs are laid directly into the pouch.

She carries the eggs until they hatch. The young live in the pouch until they become too big for comfort. Then the mother leaves them in the burrow or in some other safe hiding place she searches for food.

If threatened, a spiny anteater digs straight down into the ground and presents only its sharp spines to the enemy. It can bury itself completely in a few minutes! The New Guinea spiny anteater can grow to a length of about 76 centimeters. The Australian species is a little smaller.

Can you eat echidna?

Echidnas. It may come as a surprise that Echidnas are sought-after animals by Aboriginal people. As with a lot of bush meats, the taste has been described to be just like chicken however we think it’s better than chicken.

Who killed echidna?

Argus Panoptes

Why do echidnas have 4 heads?

Echidnas, also known as platypus, are mammals that are native to Australia. They are also known to be very odd creatures. They have 4 unique and very distinct heads that all look different from each other. They each have a beak and what looks like eyes, and they can also move their jaws. The heads are located at the front, back, left, and right sides of their body. The purpose of the extra heads is not really clear.

What is the difference between a hedgehog and echidna?

Hedgehogs and echidnas are both mammals that include spines on their bodies. The echidna has a large number of spines on its back that form a kind of armor, while the hedgehog has spines on its tail and body. The hedgehog, which is a small mammal, has a long tail and is mostly nocturnal, while the echidna is a large mammal that spends most of its days sleeping. Another interesting difference is the fact that the hedgehog is not a mammal at all, but a mammal-like reptile: the hedgehog is actually a mammal called a monotreme, which is a kind of egg-laying mammal.

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