Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feeling prickly?

You know those mornings when you wake up, your eyes are stuck together, your throat is scratchy and you are in no mood to suffer fools? Don't you wish you could just curl up in a ball and keep the world away. This little guy has the solution though it has taken a few million years of evolution to get there.

The Echidna or spiny anteater (it's favourite food is termites) has a very nice strategy for avoiding confrontations. It digs a little hole and settles in leaving only it's spines protruding. If a predator should flip it over it merely curls into an impenetrable ball.
Like it's cousin the platypus it is a very curious creature indeed. It is a Monotreme, a mammal that lays eggs which are then deposited in a pouch. the young are suckled from a gland on the abdomen as the echidna has no nipples.They occur in Australia and New Guinea and are hunted for food but are protected fauna in Australia. While superficially resembling hedgehogs they are not related, the young are called Puggles.


  1. Whereas that is a very fine defense indeed, it might be a little over the top. Personally, I'd give a wide berth to anything that ate a lot of termites. Although I do have a sodden cabin in the woods I'd be happy to chain it up to.

  2. I love the education I'm getting about Australian animals. Another great card. :-)

  3. I keep learning about fascinating new animals from you. You come up with some great post titles too. heh heh

  4. Nice piece and great info.... Puggles - like that name!