Echidna / Spiny Anteater
Australian echidna / spiny anteater - IMG 1640
The echidna, or spiny anteater, is one of the world's most biologically unusual animals. It and the Australian platypus are the only monotremes on the planet, and are mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young as other mammals do. The echidna has an even more bizarre characteristic, for it has a pouch in which its young eventually develop. It feeds primarily on termites that it extracts from their nests with a long thin tongue. This animal was photographed in the wild as it crossed a gravel road.