Weird encounter in the Australian bush with the Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
May I introduce here one of the weirdest creatures in Australia : the Echidna ! It is at least as strange as the Platypus, the other species in the Monotreme order. Although being Mammals, both lay eggs. But more than that, the Echidna incubate their eggs in a kind of pouch that looks like marsupial’s.
With its body covered with quills, the Echidna looks like our European Hedgehog. But It would be a giant one because it weights between 3 and 6 kilos (0,8 kilos for our Hedgehog). A good example of “Convergent evolution”. In fact, they are not close relatives. Species from the Monotreme order are very primitive Mammals that were already living on earth during the dinosaur age. An other strange fact : the Echidna shows a penis with 4 tips. I leave you with this to think about…or google it.
The 2 best sites for spotting Echidnas in the wild in Australia, during my stays, were :
1 - Grampians National Park in Victoria, 250 km west from Melbourn.
2 – Flinders Chase national park on Kangaroo Island in Sout-Australia, off Adelaïde.
Les 2 meilleurs sites d’observation pour l’Echidné à Nez court, Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), au cours de mes séjours en Australie ont été :
1 - Le Parc national de Grampians dans l’état de Victoire à environ 250 km à l’ouest de Melbourne.
2 – Le Parc national de Flinders chase sur l’ile de Kangourou Island en Australie-Méridionale au large d’Adélaïde.