• Weird Nature

10 Weird Facts Most People Don't Know About Echidnas

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. In 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. 

  • Baby Echidnas Are Called Puggles

    Video: YouTube

    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. 
  • Echidnas Have Pouches

    The female echidna holds a single fertilized egg in a rear-facing pouch for 10 days before it hatches. Then she holds the new baby echidna in her pouch for two to three months before she expels it. After that, the puggle will stay in its mother's den for up to a year.
  • Male Echidnas Sometimes Mate With Hibernating Females

    If a male echidna wakes up from hibernation early, it might sneak into the burrow of a female who is still deep asleep. Then: Surprise! She wakes up pregnant.
  • Photo: Nachoman-au / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Echidnas Are Like This Big

    Just not very big. Well, it depends what you were expecting.