Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Featured Animal - Short Beaked Echidna

For a while I thought I was never going to to see an Echidna but once I saw one they seemed to start being all over the place. They are very common all over Australia especially Tasmania where they are often seen at the side of the road.

The Echidna (also know as the spiny anteater) is a monotreme. Monotreme's are a very old order of mammals that lay eggs. The only other surviving monotreme species is the playpus. There are other species of echidna in New guinea but only the short beaked occurs in Oz.

The word Monotreme means single opening in greek. That means that their urinary, defecatory, and reproductive tracts all open into a single duct. To put it another way the female echidna takes it up the ass to reproduce. This may explain why they walk so funnily. I think the male has some sort of penis (or else he would have to turn his rectum inside out to do it!).

Here is a short video I took of one.

I am reminded off a very old childrens program I used to watch called fingerbobs which has this bearded guy called Yoffy creating animals out of his fingers. Brill show but an Echidna walks like a fingerbob especially flash the tortoise or prickly friend the hedgehog - basically like a guy has a finger up their hole.

No comments: