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Conservation status: Not threatened or endangered.

These cute little creatures are covered in fur and spines and have a distinctive snout and specialized tongue for catching speedy insect prey.  Being a member of the monotreme mammal group - the short beaked Echidna lays eggs. They are expert burrowers and use their extremely strong front limbs and claws to dig with great speed and power. Spending a significant amount of time underground, these animals can tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen. During winter they hibernate by reducing their metabolism to save energy and as the weather warms they emerge to find a mate.  They are currently not threatened by extinction and are fairly widespread.   

Short-beaked Echidna

Tachyglossus aculeatus

© St Andrews Wildlife Shelter

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