Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/53492

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Monotremata
Family:Tachglossidae
Genus:Tachyglossus
Genus species:Tachyglossus aculeatus

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:30-45 cm
Weight:3.5-8 kg
Identification:The coat of the short-beaked echidna is black to light. It has spines on its back and sides, and the snout is long, narrow, and naked.
Habitat:Grasslands, forests
Diet:Carnivore: termites, ants, small invertebrates
Reproduction:After a gestation period of 14 days, the female lays her eggs which are placed into her pouch. There, they are incubated for 7-10 days. After hatching, the young are carried in their mother's pouch for another three weeks.
The short-beaked echidna is solitary.
Behavior:Short-beaked echidna may hibernate in cooler weather. If threatened, they will dig rapidly into the ground. Hollow logs, roots, or rocks make up their dens.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:Even though female short-beaked echidnas feed their offspring milk (as do all mammals), they have no nipples. Rather, the baby echidnas suck the milk off their mother's skin. When feeding, echidnas use their long sticky tongue (up to 17 cm long) to catch their prey. Because they have no teeth, the food is then broken up along horny ridges in the mouth.

Other Information

Geographic:Australia
Tasmania
Southeastern New Guinea
Date:1970-12 Subjects:Australian spiny anteater
monotreme
Short-beaked echidna
Tachyglossus
Tachyglossidae
Monotremes
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata