For the kids
The Short-beaked Echidna
( Tachyglossus aculeatus multiaculeatus)
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- Echidnas are mammals; they have hair and suckle their young on milk . They are warm blooded.
- The Australian Short-beaked Echidna is one of three surviving monotremes. Monotremes are a special group of mammals which lay eggs. There are three monotremes living on the planet today: the platypus, the short beaked echidna (just called echidna) and the long beaked echidna . Today, the long beaked echidna lives only on the island of Papua New Guinea.
- Ancestors of echidnas roamed the planet with the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs died out but monotremes are still alive.
- The echidna eats lots of invertebrates besides ants and termites.
- Echidnas are active both day and night.
- Echidnas are solitary living except during the breeding season.
- Echidnas breed during the winter.
- An echidna lays only one single egg .
- A female echidna carries her young in her pouch .
- When the young starts growing spines, she digs a special nursery burrow put it in.
- Echidnas can live to be 50 years old .