Australia has been on fire for the past few months, and many of its native animal species are being harmed in the process. So let's talk about one of them today and hopefully, bring more attention to Australia's fascinating wildlife.
Physical Description and Behavior
The Short-beaked Echidna is one of only 4 known species of echidna still alive today. They are about 16 inches long (40 cm) and upwards of 15 pounds (7kg). Their spines cover their entire bodies, including their fairly small tails. They have some fur under the spines, and sometimes can even be longer than the spines are.
It does not have any teeth, but it does have a hard surface on the top of its mouth that it uses for eating ants and other small insects. This lack of teeth has made connecting fossils to a common ancestor rather difficult.
The cutest part about them is the fact that they roll into a ball. This is often used as a defense mechanism due to their spines. They are mainly active during the day, but cannot tolerate heat due to a lack of sweat glands and the fact that they do not pant.
Habitat and Location
The Echidna is an animal that has gotten a lot of notoriety due to its appearance in the popular video game series Sonic and Hedgehog. They are considered to be of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List. However, it is unsure if this is going to change in the near future due to the Australian fires destroying large parts of their habitat.
Their habitat is located almost entirely in Australia and can be found basically anywhere in Australia. They can also be found in Kangaroo Island, as well as Papa New Guinea.
Check out more about these cuties in the video below: