Last time around we spent pretty much our entire three months in Australia trying to catch a glimpse of this elusive creature; the echidna. Less than 24 hours after arriving in Tasmania and we find one by the side of the road. I was very impressed with myself after I spotted it, screamed in delight, braked my automatic hire car and pulled over without crashing, grabbed my camera and got back to it before it had run away. Doesn’t sound like much but no other creature has still been there after I have got my camera out.
This is a short beaked echidna, one of four species that exist. Along with the platypus they make up the group of mammals called monotremes; the only mammals to lay eggs. They don’t get quite so much press as the platypus, but they are equally awesome! They lay a leathery egg directly into their pouch where it later hatches, the new born lives in the pouch, suckling milk from a patch of milk secreting pores (echidnas have no nipples) until they are big enough to look after themselves.
This has made my trip to Australia and we haven’t been here long yet, so I thought I would share my excitement with you all!!!