The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a mammal native to Australia and New Guinea–this one was filmed in Tasmania–and like the platypus, it lays eggs. Echidnas have very short, strong limbs with large claws, and are powerful diggers. Their claws on their hind limbs are elongated and curved backward to help aid in digging. If disturbed, an echidna will usually lower its head, and with vigorous digging, sink rapidly into the ground, leaving only the spines exposed. On hard surfaces they will curl into a ball — presenting defensive spines in every direction.
They are strange-looking, but, boy, is this one cute!
* * *
From November 20 through December 25, pause and de-stress from the frantic pace of the holidays with a daily #MomentofChill—which may involve a frolicking puppy, a crackling fireplace, or the soothing ripples of an untouched stream.