Echidna: Extraordinary Egg-Laying Mammal by Michael Augee, Brett Gooden, Anne Musser

By Michael Augee, Brett Gooden, Anne Musser

The echidna is likely one of the world’s so much striking creatures. it's a residing fossil whose kin have been strolling the earth over a hundred million years in the past. just like the platypus, it's a mammal that lays eggs. And, like every mammals, it has fur and produces milk. This booklet describes the echidna’s way of life and the variations that experience made it such a success. It attracts at the most recent study into those unfamiliar beings, overlaying their evolution, anatomy, senses, copy, behaviour, feeding behavior and metabolism. The authors show a few interesting new findings, exhibiting how echidnas are masters in their surroundings, and never easily a few type of mammal ‘test version’ that went incorrect. a last bankruptcy on conservation comprises details on captive nutrition and administration.

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Brain metabolic activity is high and its temperature rises during REM in most mammals. REM sleep is generated in the brain stem by bursts of firing from the reticular formation. This discharge produces the twitching that characterises REM sleep. In contrast, in non-REM or slow wave sleep the voltage of the cortical EEG increases. The cortical neurons fire rhythmically and in synchrony with neighbouring neurons. Heart rate and respiration become less variable. Metabolism is greatly reduced in the cortex and throughout the brain during non-REM sleep.

A cardboard box is not a good container for an echidna. In a matter of seconds an unwatched echidna is up and away. Photo: Gordon Grigg. Echidna: Extraordinary egg-laying mammal 29 Echidna scats are usually smooth and cylindrical with broken ends. They consist of insect cases in dirt. Photo: Gordon Grigg. A male follows a female during the mating season. In the wild, trains of up to 11 echidnas have been observed. Photo: Gordon Grigg. 30 Echidna: Extraordinary egg-laying mammal A young echidna, about 40 days old, can no longer fit entirely in its mother’s pouch.

1 Dorsal view of the skull of the echidna (top) and platypus (below). The sutures on the snout are well fused on this echidna skull, and sutures between the premaxilla, septomaxilla and maxilla are not visible. Echidnas lack jugals although platypuses possess these small bones. Skeletal anatomy 35 echidnas have become established and are the common names recommended for Tachyglossus and Zaglossus respectively by the Australian Mammal Society. We will follow this convention for the common names, but we will refer to the anatomical structure itself as the ‘snout’.

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