Echidnas

6 species

Echidnas are quill-covered egg-laying mammals that are also known as monotremes. The four extant species of echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs. Echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme. This ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land. They live in forests and woodlands of Australia and New Guinea, hiding under vegetation, roots, or piles of debris. Echidnas are solitary and very timid animals. When they feel endangered they bury themselves or if exposed they will curl into a ball similar to that of a hedgehog; both methods using their spines to shield them. Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers. When swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines and are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves. Although they have a way to protect themselves, the echidnas still face many dangers. Some predators include feral cats, foxes, domestic dogs, and goannas. Snakes pose a large threat to echidnas because they slither into their burrows and prey on the young spineless puggles.
Echidnas are quill-covered egg-laying mammals that are also known as monotremes. The four extant species of echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs. Echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme. This ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land. They live in forests and woodlands of Australia and New Guinea, hiding under vegetation, roots, or piles of debris. Echidnas are solitary and very timid animals. When they feel endangered they bury themselves or if exposed they will curl into a ball similar to that of a hedgehog; both methods using their spines to shield them. Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers. When swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines and are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves. Although they have a way to protect themselves, the echidnas still face many dangers. Some predators include feral cats, foxes, domestic dogs, and goannas. Snakes pose a large threat to echidnas because they slither into their burrows and prey on the young spineless puggles.