Echidnas are small mammals (between 35-45cm and up to 7 kilograms), covered with coarse hair and spines. . They have short, strong limbs with large claws and are powerful diggers. They have a long, slender snout which acts as both the mouth and nose, and they feed by tearing open soft logs and anthills and use their long, sticky tongue to collect prey.
The short-beaked echidna’s diet consists of ants and termites. Although their diet consists largely of ants and termites, they are not actually related to the anteater species.
Echidnas can be found throughout Australia in a range of habitats and climates. They are mostly nocturnal, but in warm weather can be seen during the day. Echidnas shelter under rocks, logs or bury themselves in the ground.
Together with the platypus, echidnas are known as 'monotremes' (egg-laying mammals). This means that the female will lay a single egg, and once hatched, carry her young in her pseudo pouch until the young starts growing spines. The female will then dig a burrow where the young echidna will remain until fully developed.