Are you ready to learn some fun facts about the echidna? Get ready, because this is going to be a great time. The echidna, also called the "spiny anteater," is a weird spiky little mammal native to Australia and New Guinea. There are four living species of echidnas. ...Maybe some of the following is NSFW if your workplace is opposed to learning about animals and science, so continue scrolling at your own risk.
Why echidnas? Why? Well, for one thing, you probably don't know much about them. Everyone knows that the "duck-billed platypus" lays eggs, but guess what? So does the echidna. Now what? The echidna kind of looks like a spiny porcupine anteater hedgehog, but it is none of those things. Most of its body is covered in hollow spine-like fur that provides insulation. It captivity, an echidna might live up to 50 years. In the wild, if it lives in New Guinea, it might be hunted for food.Great, let's learn more.
Echidnas Lay Eggs
Echidnas are part of the order Monotreme, AKA "mammals that lay eggs." Everyone knows that platypuses lay eggs, but the truth is that there is only one species of platypus and four whole species of echidnas. (Those are all of the monotremes, BTW. Just those five species.)
Echidnas Don't Have Nipples
Echidnas are mammals, so they feed their young milk, but not with nipples. Instead, female echidnas have two "milk patches" that the babies just sort of suck on.
Baby Echidnas Are Called Puggles
Wow, what an adorable name for a little blob of a thing.
In case you are wondering if there is an official name for a baby platypus, the answer is "no" - but you can probably call one a puggle anyway.Also, a puggle is sometimes a crossbreed puppy of a pug and a beagle, but that kind of animal is not related to an echidna at all.
Echidna Penises Have Four Heads
How does such a thing even work? While reproducing, two of the heads stop working while the other two function. Each time it gets down to biz, it alternates in heads of two. The reason it is two at a time is because female echidnas have a two-branched reproductive tract. Fancy!