Eastern long-beaked echidnas have long, dense black to dark brown fur and white spines. These spines cover the entire dorsal surface of their body. Eastern long-beaked echidnas do not have teeth. They have a horny plate at the back of their mouth. This plate helps them to grind food. Eastern long-beaked echidnas have five claws on their fore feet and four on their hind feet. These echidnas have no tail but they can roll into a spiny ball for defense.
Eastern long-beaked echidnas occur in New Guinea. They inhabit tropical hill forests to sub-alpine forests, upland grasslands and scrub. The species has been found in locations up to an elevation of around 4,150 m. Eastern long-beaked echidnas live in dense vegetation or in underground burrows.
Eastern long-beaked echidnas are solitary and try to avoid other echidnas. Because of such an elusive lifestyle, it's hard for researches to study their behavior. It is known that eastern long-beaked echidnas are nocturnal creatures. They forage at night tearing open logs with their claws to find the grubs and other invertebrates. These echidnas live in underground dens and cover them with little vegetation.
Little is known about the mating system and breeding behaviors of Eastern long-beaked echidnas. It is suggested that the reproduction season occurs in April and May. Due to the reports of native people Eastern long-beaked echidnas give birth to 1 baby echidna or a "puggle". Female echidnas lay eggs and in around 10 days eggs hatch. Puggles stay in the female’s pouch for another 6 - 7 weeks until the spines grow in. Young are weaned after around seven months.
Humans are the main factor in diminishing populations of Eastern long-beaked echidnas. Locals often prey upon them for food. Feral dogs are known to occasionally consume this species. Deforestation is another important factor leading to the decline of Eastern long-beaked echidnas.
The total population size of Eastern long-beaked echidnas is likely to be low and may number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.