Echidna

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Two species of animal that make up the Family Tachyglossidae or commonly known as echindnas. Also called spiny anteaters, they are the only existing monotremes besides the platypus.

Both species are covered with coarse hair and their backs have spines. Their snouts are elongated and slender. They have strong limbs that make them powerful diggers. Echidnas have no teeth and have a weak jaw so they feed by using their long sticky tongue to sweep up termites, ants and other small arthropods and crush these between their tongue and the roof of their mouth.

The long-beaked echidna ("Zaglossus bruiini") is the larger of two with shorter and fewer spines. It lives in forest of New Guinea.

The short-beaked echidna ("Tachyglossus aculeatus") is more compact body. It lives in the grasslands and forest of Australia, Tasmania, and south east New Guinea.

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