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Spiny Anteater 7 Letters – Monotremes (egg-laying mammals) belonging to the family Tachyglossidae /t æ k i ɡ l ɒ s ɪ d iː / . The four extant species of echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs and the only surviving members of the order Monotremata.
The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas, which (along with sloths and armadillos) are xarthrans. Echidnas live in Australia and New Guinea.
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Echidnas are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology who was half woman, half snake, as the animal was perceived to have both mammalian and reptilian qualities. An alternative explanation is a confusion with Ancient Greek: ἐχῖνος, romanized: ekhînos, lit. ‘urchin, sea urchin’.
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The spines are modified hairs and are made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that makes up the animals’ hair, claws, nails and horn sheaths.
Superficially, they resemble South American anteaters and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines. They are usually black or brown in color. There are several reports of albino echidnas, their pink eyes and white spines.
They have elongated, thinner snouts that function as a mouth and nose. Like the platypus, they are equipped with electrosensors, but while the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors in its beak, the long-beaked echidna has only 2,000. The short-beaked echidna, which lives in a drier vironmt, has no more than 400 at the tip of the snout.
Echidnas have short, strong limbs with large claws and are powerful diggers. Its claws on its hind limbs are elongated and curved backwards to aid in digging. Echidnas have tiny mouths and toothless jaws. The echidna feeds by tearing up soft logs, anthills and the like, and using its long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from its snout, to collect prey. The ears are slits on the sides of their heads that are usually not visible as they are covered by their spikes. The outer ear is created by a large cartilaginous funnel, deep into the muscle.
Spiny Anteater (echidna)
Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers as they evolved from platypus-like ancestors. When swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines, and have been known to travel to the water to groom themselves and bathe.
The first European drawing of an echidna was made in Advture Bay, Tasmania, by HMS Provided’s third lieutenant, George Tobin, during William Bligh’s second breadfruit voyage.
The short-beaked echidna’s diet largely consists of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus (long-beaked) species typically eat worms and insect larvae.
They don’t have teeth, so they break down their food by grinding it between the back of their mouth and their tongue.
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Echidnas feces are 7 cm (3 in) long and cylindrical in shape; they are generally broken and unrounded, and composed mainly of earth and anthill material.
Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures; they use caves and rock crevices to protect themselves from adverse weather conditions. Echidnas are found in forests and woodlands, hiding under vegetation, roots or piles of debris. They sometimes use the dens of animals such as rabbits and wombats. Individual echidnas have large, mutually overlapping territories.
Echidnas and platypus are the only mammals that lay eggs, known as monotremes. The average life expectancy of an echidna in the wild is estimated to be around 14 to 16 years. When fully grown, a female can weigh up to 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) and a male can weigh up to 6 kg (13 lb).
The sex of an echidna can be inferred from its size, as males are 25% larger than females on average. Reproductive organs also differ, but both sexes have a single oping called the cloaca, which they use to urinate, release their feces, and mate.
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Due to their low metabolism and resistance to stress, echidnas are long-lived for their size; the longest recorded lifespan for an echidna in captivity is 50 years, with anecdotal reports of wild individuals reaching 45 years.
Contrary to previous research, the echidna does have REM sleep, but only when the ambient temperature is around 25°C (77°F). At temperatures of 15°C (59°F) and 28°C (82°F), REM sleep is suppressed.
The female lays a single soft, leathery-shelled egg 22 days after mating and deposits it directly into her pouch. An egg weighs 1.5 to 2 grams (0.05 to 0.07 oz)
And is about 1.4 cm (0.55 in.) long. During hatching, the baby echidna opposes the leathery shell with a reptile-like egg tooth.
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It is born larval and fetal, sucks milk from the pores of the two milky plates (monotremes do not have nipples) and remains in the pouch for 45 to 55 days,
Moment when it begins to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery den and deposits the pups, returning every five days to nurse them until weaning at seven months. Puggles will stay inside their mother for up to a year before coming out.
During mating, the heads on one side “turn off” and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release the sem into the female’s two-branch reproductive tract. Each time it copulates, it switches heads in sets of two.
When not in use, the penis is retracted into a preputial sac in the cloaca. The male echidna’s pis is 7 centimeters (2.8 in.) long and its shaft is covered with pile spines.
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It is a challenge to study echidna in their natural habitat and they show no interest in mating in captivity. Before 2007, no one had seen an echidna ejaculate. There have been previous attempts, trying to force the echidna to ejaculate through the use of electrically stimulated ejaculation to obtain samples of sem, but this has only resulted in the swelling of the penis.
The breeding season starts at the end of June and extends until September. Males will form lines of up to t individuals in length, the youngest echidna last, which follow the female and attempt to mate. During the mating season, an echidna can switch between lines. This is known as the “train” system.
Echidnas are very shy animals. When they feel in danger, they try to bury themselves or, if exposed, curl up into a hedgehog-like ball, both methods using their spines to protect them. Strong front arms allow echidnas to continue digging while holding on to a predator that tries to remove them from the hole.
Although they have a way of protecting themselves, echidnas still face many dangers. Some predators include wildcats, foxes, domestic dogs and goannas. Snakes pose a major threat to echidna species because they slip into their burrows and prey on young thornless puggles.
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Some precautions that can be taken include keeping the vironmt clean, picking up litter and causing less pollution, planting vegetation for echidnas to use as shelter, supervising pets, reporting injured echidnas or just leaving them intact. Simply grabbing them can cause stress, and picking them up improperly can result in injury.
The first divergence between oviparous (which lay eggs) and viviparous (offspring develop internally) mammals is believed to have occurred during the Triassic period.
However, there is still some disagreement about this estimated divergence time. While most findings from Gothic studies (especially those relating to nuclear ge) agree with paleontological findings, some results from other techniques and sources, such as mitochondrial DNA, are slightly at odds with fossil findings.
Molecular clock data suggest that echidnas split from platypuses between 19 and 48 million years ago, and that platypus-like fossils dating to more than 112.5 million years ago therefore represent basal rather than basal forms. close relatives of the modern platypus.
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This would imply that echidnas evolved from water-hunting ancestors that went back to living completely on land, although this puts them in competition with marsupials.
While both extant monotremes such as the platypus and echidna lack teeth, the ancestor of monotremes once had adult teeth. Therefore, four of the eight ages for tooth development were lost from these common ancestors.
Additional evidence of possible water-hunting ancestors can also be found in some of the echidna’s phototypical features. These features include hydrodynamic aerodynamics, dorsally projected hind limbs acting as rudders, and locomotion based on hypertrophied long axis rotation of the humerus, which provides very efficient swimming.
Consequently, oviparous reproduction in monotremes may have given them an advantage over marsupials, a view consisting of an ecological divide between the two groups.
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This advantage may also be in part responsible for the observed associated adaptive radiation of echidnas and niche space expansion, which together contradict the fairly common assumption of disrupted morphological and molecular evolution that continues to be associated with monotremes.
It is suggested that echidnas evolved in isolation in New Guinea, where they were isolated from Australia. This would explain both their rarity in the fossil record, their local abundance in current times, and their acquisition of terrestrial niches, presumably without competition from marsupials.
Zaglossus gus includes three extant species and two species known only from fossils, while only one extant species of Tachyglossus gus is known. The third gus, Megalibgwilia, is known only from fossils.
They are rare and are hunted for food. they forage