One of the most unique mammals on our planet is echidna.
This animal belongs to the family Tachyglossidae. Habitats of this animal are Australia, New Guinea, and islands in the Bassa Strait. Echidna is very similar to a mixture of hedgehog and porcupine but has nothing to do with these animals. The closest animals to echidna are duckbills. The menu of the animal includes ants, termites, clams, and worms. There are other interesting facts about echidnas.
After the baby hatching from the egg, he travels for 8 weeks in his mother’s bag and eats milk, which is licked directly from wool. After a while, the echidna digs a hole for the baby and takes care of him until he is ready to live independently. We have collected for you the most interesting facts about echidnas.
7 facts about echidnas
- Echidna has no teeth. The muzzle of the animal is similar to a beak and ends with a mouth with a long tongue, which makes more than a hundred movements in a minute.
- Despite its awkwardness, it floats perfectly.
- Echidna belongs to the subclass of Prototheria – mammal and Synapsid.
- In case of danger, the echidna digs a hole, and hides, leaving only needles outside. In case of danger, the animal can wrap itself in a tangle, but it becomes more vulnerable because part of the abdomen remains open.
- Echidnas lay only one egg during the whole marriage period. It has a soft coating. The female carries an egg in a bag no more than 10 days.
- The cub of the echidna is under the mother’s care until 7 months.
- For body cooling the echidna spreads needles, thus getting rid of excess heat.
Top 3 most interesting facts about echidnas
- Echidna has the lowest blood temperature among mammals. In critical conditions, the animal lowers its temperature to 4 degrees and its breathing rate to 1 in 3 minutes.
- For better rubbing of food in the stomach, the echidnas swallow stones. In addition to this function, the extra weight helps to control the body while swimming.
- The marriage ceremony of the echidnas lasts about a month. All this time, the males follow the female goose.
Despite its frightening appearance, the echidna is a cute and inquisitive animal, which is easy to tame. Each individual has its territory, which it zealously protects. The stronger the animal, the larger the area it controls. In the wild, the animal’s life span does not exceed 17 years. In captivity, individual specimens lived 50 years. Echidnas are protected by law, and hunting for them is prohibited.
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