Echidna's is funnee

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marg's Man, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    The Echidna (pronounced ee-kid-nah) is a cousin of the more famous Platypus. It is the only other mammal that lays eggs.

    I just think they're cute. I often think they look like wind up toys. difficult child 3 has Australia's Funniest Home Videos on and there was an echidna clip in it. Luckily I can share it with you because it is available on YouTube here:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY6OIh41ZVc"]YouTube - Tipping Echidna, Sydney Australia[/ame]

    We often see them trundling (it's THE only way to describe their way of moving) along by the roadside as we drive through the bush around our 'island' home town.

    What do you think of them?

    Marg's Man
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I never knew these things even existed! What an odd little animal! Cute though ... they move almost like a turtle without a shell.
     
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG he's adorable!! :D
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They are cute. Not so common now (at least, not so commonly found in suburbia). When I was a kid and we lived on the city outskirts, I remember a couple of times when we had one up near the back door and spooked by the dogs. One time I remember my brother had to get a spade and carefully lift the rolled up ball onto the spade to carry it out of our garden and back into the bushland. It had been trying to burrow under the rubbish bin, and that's not a good thing - they can knock over even a large bin. They wedge into a crevice and puff up a bit. This tips the object over a bit, then they wedge in a bit deeper, puff up again, and so it continues. One of the uni field stations had an echidna get into the store-room and it knocked over a freezer with this technique.

    The zoo down the road lets you handle them, they really are cute - when they're tame. Their ant substitute in the zoo includes mashed banana.

    One time I was driving through the bush near home with the kids, and there was an echidna on the road. I was worried tat a car might skittle it so I stopped and got out to move it along. Trouble is, it saw me coming and curled into a ball - still in the middle of the road! You can't hurry these things, if you startle them they curl up. So now we travel with gauntlets in the car so if we see one again curled into a ball, we can pick it up and carry it to the side of the road...

    I do think echidnas have a much more sensible way of childbirth than porcupines or hedgehogs. I hate the thought of delivering something with spines...

    They really are quite closely related to platypuses. I never realised just how close, until I saw a platypus skull and an echidna skull side by side. If you can picture the bill of a platypus as loooking a bit like the sides of a lyre, and in an echidna, those two sides are brought in close together to form the framework of a tube - otherwise the skull is very similar. The feet etc too, but the echidna hasn't the webbing. They have the same poisoned spurs in the male, though. And both species are great at digging.

    They're not as spiky as they look, either - there's a lot of hair between those spikes. The spikes themselves feel rubbery, until they go into a ball and it's all sticking out.

    Cute. But maybe not that smart. How smart do you have to be, to outwit an ant?

    Marg
     
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What cute little dudes. They do trundle, don't they? I just about spit coffee on my screen when I saw that video where the echidna just topples over backward!!! I wasn't expecting that right off the bat!
     
  6. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Isn't it amazing that a mammal can lay an egg? Just an other reason I'm glad to live on this planet!
     
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It reminds me of a porcupine or even a hedgehog. Cute.
     
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I was going to say the same as TM. They do look like mini-porcupines. Is it's only line of defense to curl up into a ball?
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Pretty much. They burrow like wombats, they can quickly dig in so that all that is presented to a predator's mouth are the spikes which as they curl, will stick out more prominently. They can flatten themselves out, then wedge into a space (that's how that one at the uni field station that I mentioned above somewhere knocked over the freezer).

    Did you know that baby echidnas are called puggles? And because platypuses are also monotremes, teir babies are also called puggles. It's fairly recent and I think it's because of the soft toy from te 70s or therabouts, called puggles. They really do look like that!

    When I was a kid I read books for kids which told stories of a family who lived with a lot of Aussie animals nearby, and the baby platypuses then were (I think) called platykits by the kids, but there was no official name for what you called a baby platypus. But "puggle" now appears to be the name.

    Here's a really good page, it's got photos plus info.
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblygum/June2000/default.htm

    Marg
     
  10. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Those are darn cute.

    beth
     
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I can guarantee that if they lived were we are, difficult child 2 would have one living in his room by now with all of his other critters :p
     
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I love them -

    ????

    In Aussie land - there is an animal that is like a miniature Kangaroo, not a Wallaby, but has beautiful markings - I mean these things look art Deco - I saw a blurb on the tv one day and meant to ask you what they are. I've never seen anything like it and didn't catch a name.

    Ring any bells -
     
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    By definition almost, a small kangaroo is a wallaby. But there are some gorgeous ones, quite small. Agile Wallaby is very pretty, they have a lovely face. You might be thinking of Pademelon.
    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pademelon[/ame]

    http://images.google.com.au/images?...&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title
    I don't think this photo does them justice. These are the little guys we have common in our area, along with Swamp Wallabies. Although WE love them, you won't be thiking of swampies.
    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swamp_Wallaby[/ame]
    Our swampies are darker than this, almost charcoal/chocolate brown on their backs. Maybe to blend in with the frequently-burnt bushland?

    OK, now for Agile Wallaby.
    http://www.ozanimals.com/Mammal/Agile-Wallaby/Macropus/agilis.html

    husband might know, he'll be popping in. Also, difficult child 1 would definitely know, he loves these creatures although used to get VERY exasperated with the Agile Wallabies, who really deserve their name - trying to keep them in their enclosure at the zoo was a huge headache.

    See if any of those fit your memory.

    Gotta get hopping fast, difficult child 3's neuropsychologist assessment looms.

    Marg
     
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Nope this was small like a pademeon but sable, with white and black spots and a stripe around it's tail - that was black.
     
  15. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Star,

    I think you're talking about the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridled_Nail-tail_Wallaby

    These are beautiful little 'roos, unfortunately nearly extinct although they do seem to be bouncing back. In less enlightened times they were hunted for their pelts but they have been protected for several decades now. This near extinction is probably why they were the subject of a documentary. The media only only ever seems to notice the natural world when there's bad news

    I've never seen a living one even in a zoo but I really would like to.

    Marg's Man
     
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