Monotremes: Egg-laying Mammals
The echidna is one of two types of egg-laying mammals found in Australia (the other is platypus). Female echidnas lay a single soft-shelled egg which they keep safe by contracting their muscles to create an incubation pouch.
The short-beaked echidna has a long, slender tongue which protrudes up to 18cm out of its snout. It can be flicked in and out of the echidna’s mouth up to 100 times every minute. These adaptations are perfect for eating the echidna’s favourite food; ants.
To see this species in the wild, we suggest Moggill Conservation Park, Queensland.
LIFESPAN: Up to 50 years
WEIGHT: Up to 7kg
LENGTH: Up to 45cm
STATUS1: Not listed
1Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act