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Short Beaked Echidna at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Click to see more.

Short Beaked Echidna

Tachyglossus aculeatus

Conservation Status

Least Concern.

Distribution

This species is widely distributed in mainland Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia, and southern New Guinea.

Habitat

This echidna is very adaptable and can be found in multiple habitats like grasslands, savannas, deserts, shrublands, and forests.

Factoid

During the mating season, one to ten males form a line and follow a receptive female, sometimes for weeks. The female chooses the most persistent male that walks behind her for the longest time. To deter predators, they curl into a ball or dig a shallow hole into the ground, and expose their sharp spines.

The short-beaked echidna is one of the five living species of egg-laying mammals. It has a compact body covered with sharp spines on the back and sides, short legs and tail, and a long, tubular snout. It lacks teeth, but has a long, sticky tongue to catch its prey. Its very strong claws are used for digging and foraging for insects. Females have pouches on their undersides and males have small spurs on the hind legs.

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