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Echidnas, also called spiny anteaters, are monotremes found in rough scrubland in Australia, Tasmania, and Papau New Guinea. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. There are only three in the world: the duck billed platypus, the long-beaked echidna, and the short-beaked echidna. The difference between subspecies is in the length of fur and spines, which help camoflauge the echidna.

Echidnas are one of the oldest species surviving today. Their diet consists of ants, termites, and earthworms that they eat with their long, sticky tongues. They are excellent diggers, and will dig holes to escape from danger. When threatened, they may also curl up into a spiny ball. They are excellent swimmers.

The long-beaked echidna is currently endangered. They are found only on New Guinea and are hunted for food, as well as being affected by habitat loss due to the expansion of farmland.

Image and information from the San Diego Zoo.

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