Echidna

Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Tachyglossus aculeatus

Identification:

Body length to 450 mm; weight to 7 kg. Fur dark brown; quills yellow with black points. Young females and males have a small non-functional spur on inside of each ankle.

Habitat and Range:

Anywhere with ground cover and ants. Usually absent from inner city suburbs, however, one recently recorded from Highgate Hill; reasonably common in surrounding shires. Australia-wide.

Notes:

Australia has no porcupines, hedgehogs or tenrecs to confuse with the Echidna. Active day or night. Eats only ants and termites (but incidentally ingests a lot of dirt).

Threats:

Cars and dogs.

Traces:

Shed quills; long droppings are cigar-shaped, smelly, clay-like and filled with shiny ant remains (up to 130 mm by 18 mm wide).

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