Habitat of the echidna
Habitat of the echidna
 
 
Close-up of an echidna
Close-up of an echidna
 
 
An adult echidna
An adult echidna
 
 
Close-up of the sharp spines of an echidna
Close-up of the sharp spines of an echidna
 
 
An echidna has a very long tongue.
An echidna has a very long tongue.
 
 
An echidna protecting itself
An echidna protecting itself
 
 
An adult echidna looking for food
An adult echidna looking for food
 
Echidna
Topic(s):   Animals of Australia, Forest Animals, Mammals, Marsupials, Woodland Animals
Quick Facts
Type of Animal mammal, marsupial, monotreme (egg laying)
Habitat woodland, forest
Diet termites, ants
Weight 9 to 15 pounds (4 to 7 kilograms)
Height 14 to 20 inches (35 to 52 centimeters)
Male male
Female female
Baby baby
Group none
Predators people, eagles, dingoes
Endangered no

An echidna lives all over Australia and New Guinea. It is a monotreme. A monotreme is a mammal that lays eggs. There are only two kinds of monotremes in the world. The other animal is the platypus.

The echidna is also called a spiny anteater. It looks like a prickly football. It has rough brown hair. Sharp spines poke out if its back. The echidna curls into a prickly ball if it is in danger. Animals stay away from the spines. The echidna has long claws. It digs a hole to get out of danger. The male echidna has spurs on its back legs. The spurs are not poisonous.

A mother echidna lays one egg a year. The egg has a soft leathery shell. The egg hatches in about two weeks. The baby enchidna is born blind. It is also born without hair. The baby stays in the mother's pouch for about 50 days until it grows spikes. The baby echidna then goes into a burrow until about five months old.

The echidna has a long snout. It also has a long tongue. The tongue is about seven inches (18 centimeters) long! The echidna’s tongue has sticky saliva. Ants or termites crawl over the tongue and get stuck. The echidna does not have any teeth. It grinds the food between its tongue and the bottom of its mouth.

Resource information

Arnold, Caroline. Australian Animals. Hong Kong: South China Printing Company, 2000.

AustralianFauna. (2004-2006). Australian Fauna. Retrieved March 10, 2012 from http://www.australianfauna.com/

Augee, Michael L. Echidna. World Book Student. World Book, 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.

Citation information

APA Style:        Echidna. (2013, June). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "Echidna." Facts4Me. Jun. 2013. http://www.facts4me.com.

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