Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna.jpg
Common Name Short-beaked echidna, Spiny anteater
Range Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Monotrematae
Family Tachyglossidae
Genus Tachyglossus
Species Tachyglossus aculeatus
Conservation Status
Least Concern


The short-beaked echidna measures 12 to 18 in long (30-45 cm) and the tail is around 3/8 in (1 cm). They typically weigh around 5.5 to 15 lbs (2.5-10 kg). Echidnas have no neck, their head joins at the shoulders. These echidnas have brown or black hair along with quills that are yellow but black at the tips. Short-beaked echidnas have very poor eyesight but they have a very acute sense of smell that makes up for it.

Certain aspects of the biology of these echidnas makes them similar to reptiles while other aspects makes them similar to mammals. For example, short-beaked echidnas lay eggs and they have similar bone structures as well as digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems. However, short-beaked echidnas are warm-blooded and they produce milk for their young, characteristics that only


Short-beaked echidnas prefer living in temperate forests, deserts, grasslands, and savannas.

These echidnas can be found in Australia as well as the southern coast of Papua New Guinea.


Short-beaked echidnas are solitary creatures and are typically only active during the evening and night-time, however, they may become inactive in unusually high or low temperatures.


Short-nosed echidnas prefer to feed on ants, termites, and worms, which they find with their keen sense of smell. It is possible that the echidnas sense electric signals with sensors on the ends of their long snouts.

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