Friday, June 20, 2014

Spikey Egg-Laying Mammals

All the different kinds on mammals share a lot of common traits. They’re warm blooded, have 7 cervical vertebrae, breathe air, have hair and give milk to their young to feed on. Almost all mammals, when giving birth, produce a live young. However, there are certain species that step out of this trait.

Monotreme, which is the order where Echidnas and Platypuses are found, actually lay eggs. Another particular trait that these mammals have that makes them different is that they secrete milk and store them in packets for their young. Both of these egg-laying animals are found in New Guinea and Australia.
Echidnas are probably the least known of the only two egg-laying mammals. Also known as the spiny anteaters, Echidnas would spend hours looking for termites and ants to eat on the forest floor. As adults, they uses their long tongues to pull out and collect those little insects, but they do have teeth which they don’t have much use for.

Their teeth are actually more useful to them as babies. As they develop in their eggs, a special tooth comes out which helps them to break out of the egg’s shell. Once they get out of the egg, they can then feed off their mother though milk packets since the tooth can make feeding time painful for the mother.

She carries the baby, called a puggle, around with her inside her pouch for around 45-55 days. By this time, the puggle would have started to develop its spines, so she needs to place it safely inside a burrow and continues to take care of it for a few more months.

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