An Echidna’s Fun Facts

First Posted: Nov 22, 2016 03:16 AM EST

Echidna or spiny anteater has a medium-sized and unsociable mammals covered with coarse hair and spines like porcupines. This creature has no nipples but it has a pouch like kangaroo and lays eggs like a reptile.

According to Wired, the fun facts about Echidna are they have large brain due to their enlarged neocortex that makes up half of the echidna's brain, comparable to 30 percent in most other mammals and 80 percent in human. Furthermore, it was being believed before that echidnas did not enter Rapid Eye Movement sleep at all. But recently, researchers found that echidnas experience Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep if they are in the well-conditioned temperature. They enter the REM sleep at 25°C or 77°F, but not at higher or lower conditions.

There are two genera and various species of Echidna. Tachyglossus aculeatus or the short-beaked echidna is the only member of the genus Tachyglossus.This creature has unique description aside from having small and longer hair compared to the long-beaked echidnas. It is capable of laying eggs.

Meanwhile, the long-beaked echidna also known as Attenborough's long-beaked echidna that belongs to genus Zaglossus habituated in New Guinea where it is named in recognition to Sir David Attenborough, the well-known naturalist.

The echidnas are a shy-type creature. When they feel that danger will come on their way, they will simply bury themselves, exposing the ball-like curl. Their strong front arms allow them to continue to dig themselves in at the same time holding fast against a predator attempting to remove them from the hole.

Science News said that aside from the fact that they bury themselves in soil, it was discovered by the researchers published on the Oct. 15 in the Journal of Experimental Biology that short-beaked echidnas spend about 12 percent of their day digging up the soil.

Over a year, a particular echidna mixes up about 204 mᶾ of soil enough to bury more than 100 full size of fridges. This digging habit of echidnas is a huge help to the ecosystem. It turns up the soil to mix the nutrients, keeping the environment well nourished and sustain its biodiversity.

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