Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Echidna Facts

1) Echidnas are a kind of spiny anteaters.
2) Echidnas belong to the family Tachyglossidae that means "fast tongues."
3) Echidnas belong to the order monotreme including egg-laying mammals.
4) Echidnas belong to Prototheria including the first milk giving animals.
5) Echidnas and platypus are the only surviving egg-laying mammals.
6) The anteaters that do not relate to Echidnas are aardvark, numbat, and pangolins.
7) The giant anteater is Myrmecophaga tridactyla,  (not an Echidna).
8) Echidnas live in scrublands, deserts, and montane forests of Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
9) Echidnas are terrestrial mammals.
10) Actually Echidna means a half-woman and half-snake creature in Greek mythology.
11) Echidnas were perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles.
12) Echidnas are brown or black medium-sized, independently living solitary mammals covered with coarse hair and spines.
13) Externally Echidnas resemble the anteaters of the South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines.
14) Echidnas have elongated and slender snouts that function both as both mouth and nose.
15) The bill of Echidnas has about 2000 electrosensors, whereas the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors.
16) Echidnas are powerful diggers with very short and strong limbs that equipped with large claws.
17) Echidnas have tiny mouths with toothless jaws.
18) Echidnas tear open anthills and logs by using a long and sticky tongue.
19) Echidnas have ear slits on either side of the head, hidden under spines.
20) The external ears of Echidnas are a pair of cartilaginous funnels situated deep in the muscle.
21) Tachglossus, the short-beaked Echidnas live on ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species on earthworms, worms and insect larvae.
22) The body temperature of Echidnas is lower than that of other mammals.
23) Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures.
24) Echidnas use caves and rock crevices to shelter themselves from harsh weather conditions.
25) Echidnas are live under debris, roots and  vegetation in forests.
26) Echidnas occupy burrows of other animals like rabbits and wombats.
27) Echidnas are good swimmers.
28) The tongues of echidnas have sharp, tiny spines to capture the prey.
29) Faeces of Echidnas are about 7 cm long.
30) The lifespan of wild echidnas is 16 years.
31) Female echidnas weigh  4.5 kg (9.9 lb) and a males 6 kg (13.2 lbs).
32) Echidnas exhibit sexual dimorphism, males are 25% larger than females.
33) Both sexes have a common cloaca to urinate, defecate and mate.
34) Male echidnas have spurs on the hind feet.
35) The neocortex makes up half of the echidna's brain, compared to 80% of a human brain.
36) Echidnas live longer due to low metabolic rate and  stress resistance.
37) Captive echidnas live for 50 years and wilder ones for 45 years.
38) Echidnas show REM sleep at 25 °C (77 °F).
39) Female echidnas lay one single soft-shelled, leathery egg into the pouch once in a year.
40) Gestation period of echidnas is 22 days.
41) The baby echidna hatches out of the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth.
42) Incubation period for echidnas is 10 days.
43) Baby Echidnas are larval and foetus-like of the size of a grape, smaller than a jelly bean.
44) Echidnas have two milk patches without nipples. Puggles lap up milk from patches.
45) Baby echidnas lives in mother's pouch for 45 to 55 days.
46) The mother echidna digs a nursery burrow to deposit the young ones.
47) The mother echidna visits nursery burrow to suckle the baby every 5-10 days.
48) Baby echidnas are weaned at seven months.
49) Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two.
50) The penis of male echidnas is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca. 51) The male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) long when erect.
52) The shaft of the penis of Echidnas is covered with penile spines.
53) The penile spines induce ovulation in the female Echidnas.
54) Male Echidnas for mating lines up to ten individuals.
55) The youngest echidna trailing last mates the female mostly.
56) Switching of Echidnas between mating lines  during a mating season is known as the "train" system.
57) The egg of Echidnas is 1.5 – 2 gm and about 1.4 cm long.
58) The young echidna is called a puggle.
58) Echidnas are very timid animals.
59) Predators of Echidnas are wild cats, foxes, domestic dogs, dingoes, goannas and snakes.
60) Snakes prey on the young spineless puggles.
61) Humans grabbing may cause stress and picking up improperly may result in injury.
62) Oviparous mammals diverged into viviparous mammals during the Triassic period.
63) Zaglossus and Tachyglossus are two extant genera of Echidnas
64) Echidna is a food delicacy for aboriginal Australians.
65) The echidna is on the Australian five-cent coin.
66) The mascot for the 2000 Summer Olympics was Millie, an Echidna.
67) Echidnas are diurnal, crepuscular and nocturnal as per convenience.
68) The eyesight of Echidnas is not as acute as sense of hearing and smell.
69) The beige-and-black spines on echidnas are about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long.
70) The hind legs point backward with an extra-long claw on the second toe.
71) Echidnas escape danger by running away and faces by curling up the body.
72) The echidna is an excellent swimmer and tree climber.
73) Hard pads at the base of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth grind the food into a paste for swallowing.
74) Both male and female echidnas have a pouch on the belly.
75) Gynecomastism is seen in Echidnas that means males have mammary glands
76) The echidna’s snout is very sensitive to touch and can feel vibrations.
77) The Sir David's long-beaked echidna is named after Sir David Attenborough, a British naturalist famous for his nature films.
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