Terry Watts (sirterrywatts) wrote,
Terry Watts

Australian Echidna - Tachyglossidae

The Australian Echidna; Is a bizarre creature indeed. In general, monotremes are mammals that ley eggs. To put everything in perspective humans are part of the larger mammal classification; so if you were to give birth in the form of an egg, you would be very surprised. The monotreme denomination is very rare and only tue main types exist; echidna or platypus. Australia is home to some of the most unique and exotic animals in the world. The echidna certainly fits that description perfectly.
Their diet is mainly based on eating a mix of insects and certain native herbs to balance their diet. Echidnas get most of their water from their diet too, so seeing one drink water directly is rare. Covered in spines they are resistant to native predators, but not invasive species such as wild dogs. Their long mouthpart is designed to eat white ants, and burrow for insects. Overall the echidna is a very unique and highly specialised creature. Aside from presenting as a peculiarity and oddity in the world, an echidna is a strong cultural image for Australia. For example; In the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the echidna was one of our 3 national mascots.
Overall, these are relatively common in the Australian bush and outback. However, most Australians may have never seen one. Only through a hobby of long distance bushwalking, I have seen echidnas in the wild. Seeing one in suburbia is not likely, and an impossibility in the inner city. Having a unique diet and lifestyle this case is restrictive, making habitat support programs vital. As the environment in Australia becomes under threat, it is important to think about the conservation efforts required for our most unique species in Australia.

Tags: australian echidna tachyglossidae wildli
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