Echidna An Australian Anteater

The Spiny Echidna

Echidna Climbing a rock

An echidna is an Australian anteater. It is sometimes referred to as a "Spiny Anteater"

It is an egg laying mammal called a monotreme.

An echidna is about 50 cm (20 inches) long and it is dome-shaped. It has short sharp spikes covering its body (like a porcupine). It has a short pointy snout and a sticky tongue with which it catches ants and termites. It has no teeth. The echidna has very sharp claws too and can burrow underground very quickly. An echidna has short stubby feet and waddles when it walks.

Echidna burrowing

When it gets frightened it raises its spikes to defend itself and tries to dig itself into the ground.

Echidnas adapt their activity according the climate they are in. In hotter climates they are nocturnal, coming out only during the cooler hours of the night. In cooler climates they more diurnal, coming out during the day to forage for food.

You can see how the echidna is trying to hide in the photograph on the right.

My dog Sage once tried to catch an Echidna and hurt his tongue.

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