Did you know a baby echidna is called a puggle? Or that adult echidnas make ‘snuffling’ noises when they hunt for food? There’s a lot to like about the Short-beaked Echidna, one of Australia’s most widespread native mammals.
A Tasmanian echidna showing its fur coat, Liffey River Reserve. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
This waddling, well-camouflaged mammal is a very peculiar creature.
Echidnas and Platypuses are monotremes – the only mammals in the world that lay eggs.
While the Short-beaked Echidna is widespread in Australia, Long-beaked Echidnas are no longer present, but both long and short-beaked can still be found in Papua New Guinea.
Short-beaked Echidnas can grow up to 40cm and 7kg, but most are between 2kg and 5kg. Their Latin name means ‘quick tongue’ (Tachyglossus) and ‘spiny’ (aculeatus). There’s good reason why their other common name is the Spiny Ant-eater.
Size: L 8cm