Short-beaked Echidna: is commonly known as the Spiny Anteater and known scientifically as Tachyglossus aculeatus. Spiny Anteaters, in common with Platypus are monotremes. These unusual animals lay eggs and suckle their young.
The Spiny Anteater is found throughout Australia including Tasmania and southern offshore islands. Their bodies are covered with sharp spines. When disturbed they rapidly burrow into the ground until only their spine-covered backs are exposed (see image).
They are usually shy, solitary animals but in the mating season (June-September) they sometimes gather in groups. In our previous garden we came across five individuals wandering about at twilight. This gathering of Spiny Anteaters ignored our company and continued seeking mates.
Spiny Anteaters have sharp claws that are very efficient in digging up ant nests. They also eat termites and beetle larvae. Their mobile food is licked up with long, sticky tongues.
We sometimes see them wandering around Yallaroo. Damaged ant nests are also evidence of their presence.