The Echidna

Evan Johnson, Community, Information and Agricultural Editor

Echidnas are a type of monotreme. A monotreme is an egg-laying mammal. They look like anteaters with the spikes of a hedgehog. Echidnas are only found in Australia and the lower parts of New Guinea. The 4 different species range in size from 12 to 30 inches and weight 7.7 to 20 pounds. Echidnas usually eat earthworms, ants, and termites which they find with the electroreceptors in their long snouts. Echidnas also use the long claws on their hands to dig out ant piles and crack open termite mounds as well as rip open rotten logs in search of more insects. Once the prey is reachable the Echidna reaches out it’s long tongue to lap up the prey and crush it into a paste with the pads on its tongue and roof of its mouth. Echidnas have never been domesticated due to their shy and timid behavior.