Animals of the world, Echidna

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Echidna (640x473)

  • Echidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters are egg-laying mammals covered with coarse hair and spines.
  • They are usually black or brown in colour
  • They have elongated and slender snouts that function as both mouth and nose and very short, strong limbs with large claws
  • The diet consists of ants, termites, worms and insect larvae. The Echidna feeds by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and using its long, sticky tongue which protrudes from its snout, to collect prey.
  • They have no teeth, and break down their food by grinding it between the bottoms of their mouths and their tongues
  • Echidnas are found in forests and woodlands, hiding under vegetation, roots or piles of debris. They sometimes use the burrows of animals such as rabbits and wombats
  • Despite their appearance, they are capable swimmers and are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves
  • When they feel endangered they attempt to bury themselves or if exposed, they will curl into a ball, both methods using their spines to shield them
  • The average lifespan in the wild is estimated around 14–16 years