Australian echidna — one of the many types of animals lay eggs belonging to the family of mammals. Lives in the wild, not only in Australia but in Tasmania and New Guinea.
Due to its ability to adapt to different climate, an animal can live in captivity in almost every corner of the world.
Animal echidna differs from other animals by its specificity.
- Appearance the Australian echidna is very similar to a hedgehog, and also have shared similar traits with a porcupine. Almost the entire surface of the body of echidna is covered with sharp needles.
- Unlike most animals, the offspring of echidna hatches from the eggs. This phenomenon is mainly found in birds and some mammals.
- Unlike birds that hatch their eggs in the nests of the Australian echidna hatching them in the pouch located in the abdomen, like the kangaroo.
- Nutrition of the animal occurs, as well as the anteater.
- Derived offspring is nourished by mother’s milk, like most mammals.
- According to scientists, it can be concluded that the nose echidna has a unique cells responsible for the capture of electromagnetic pulses. Due to these signals the animal can keep track of all the animals around her.
Very often you can find the comparison of the serpent with the bird, it is even often called “priceswhere”.
On average, the length of the body of the serpent is about 40 centimeters. The entire surface of the back covered with sharp needles mixed with hair. Vipers have no visible neck, so it seems that her little head is abruptly transformed into the torso. The mouth of this cute animal are presented in tubular form, inside which there is a long sticky tongue. In order to navigate the terrain, echidna uses the beak. This is the only source of knowledge of the world, since the sight of the animal is not the best.
Vipers legs are very muscular, though short. On the feet, as in many mammals, five fingers. Vipers have long claws, especially on the hind foot. The longest claw reaches five centimeters. They need to comb their needles. In addition to the back, the animal has a small tail is also covered with needles. The animal itself is a squat, deftly burrowing.
By nature, the echidna prefers to live alone. The animal very carefully guards his territory and will fight all the forces with their unwanted guests. But animals do not acquire permanent housing, preferring instead to move freely around the world. In appearance the animal not to say that it can even swim across a small pond, but it’s not. Echidna is an excellent swimmer.
Animals have well – developed survival instinct. They are able to instantly react to danger and take appropriate measures to protect themselves from the enemy. The most common place for asylum in times of danger it is overgrown and cracked rocks.
If echidna came face to face with your enemy, it begins very quickly to curl into a ball, exposing its needles as a protective weapon. This method is very good at helping to save the life of vipers. But this method of self-defense animal use in the case when the ground is too hard and vipers is not possible to dig a hole to hide in it.
The basis in the diet of this animal are termites, molluscs and ants. For the production of food, animal can easily destroy the anthill, to peel the bark of a tree. Due to their muscular legs, Australian “hedgehog” can easily push a large rock and eat under them insects and worms. At the time of food in the digestive tract with food received small stones and earth, which are beneficial to the digestion process.
Echidna has a very long and strong tongue, which she throws over long distances. Due to the sticky surface of the tongue, it sticks production, which the animal crushes in his cavity of his mouth.
The process of hunting mainly occurs at night. Day production of food is carried out only in cool weather. This is because the animal is completely absent in the glands, responsible for perspiration. But the body temperature does not exceed 32 degrees. That is why the Australian animal very does not tolerate heat as well as cold.
When the temperature is too low, the echidna becomes sluggish and the processes responsible for vital functions, blunted.
It is worth noting that animal, under adverse weather conditions, may fall into hibernation, the duration of which is up to 4 months. At this time, the nutrients the body receives from fat accumulated for the season.
It should be noted that vipers use very little water. Supply of necessary fluids for normal functioning of the body goes along with eaten by insects.
Until 2003 the process of reproduction of these animals has been a mystery for mankind. By results of researches it was established that the period of fertilization in these animals begins in early spring and ends in early September.
At the time of mating season, echidna can coexist together and live a small group of no more than 6 individuals. At the head of this group is always the female who is the only one of its kind in this little “community”.
The courtship of female by male, continues for one month. If the female lies on her back, it shows that they are ready for fertilization.
At this point, the males begin a flurry of activity. They begin to stomp around females trench depth of 30 inches. The trench itself is a kind of “battleground” on which the males try to push each other beyond it. Ultimately, the winner mating with the female. Pregnancy lasts up to 4 weeks. Moreover, the duration of pregnancy depends on the air temperature. The colder it is, the longer the pregnancy.
Who would have thought, but this mammal during pregnancy, formed a special bag in which females lay leather eggs. The cub is born, it usually happens after 10 weeks, moves to the front of the bag of the mother, where it feeds on milk. There he is 2 months, after which, the female releases it to the expanse of the outside world.
But her concern does not end there. She pulls a small hole, which is located in a secluded place, and every five days comes to visit him. The duration of these visits lasts up to 6 months.
It was after this period, from a little baby formed adult, able to independently produce their own food and to live separately from the mother.
The facts of reproduction
- the female can breed from 3 years;
- reproduction occurs rarely, usually not more often than once in five years;
- for one insemination, the female may be only one child;
- bag for bearing offspring, appears only during pregnancy.
Due to its adaptation to climatic conditions, anyone can admire this wonderful animal in the zoo.