Common name: Long-beaked Echidna

Scientific name: Zaglossus bartoni

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Sarcopterygii

Order: Monotremata

Family: Tachyglossidae

Genus: Zaglossus

Species: Z. bartoni

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The Long beaked echidnas are about 450-775 mm. The core body is covered in coarse brown or black hair that often hides the spines covering the back. The animal has a short tail, and a long beak. This animal does not have teeth but it does have a substitution; a row of sharp spikes on its tongue. Although some live on highly elevated alpine meadows, Long Beaked Echidnas primarily inhabit mountain forests. The species does not live along the coastal plains.

 

They do well in their environment because they mainly eat worms and a lot of worms live in the mountains. A census was last done in 1982, and if that data is accurate, about 300,000 Long Beaked Echidnas were in existence then, and the number has dropped since that time. The Long Beaked Echidna's appetite consists almost exclusively of Earthworms.

 

They will also eat ants, larvae, and termites. They compete only with each other for food. The predators of the Long Beaked Echidna are trained hunting dogs, and humans who are destroying its habitat by cutting down the forests that it Lives in. The echidnas fight there enemy off by putting there spikes up and poking them.

 

One thing that stood out in my reading was that the meat of these animals in highly known in New Guinea. One thing that I have learned in reading this passage is how they have no teeth at all but have some spikes on their tongues with which to grasp their prey.

Author: Jordan L

Published: 02/2007

Sources:

Augee, M. L. 1993. Echidnas of Australia and New Guinea. New South Wales University Press, Australia. Gregory, Cal. 1997. http://www.omen.com.au/-echidna/index.htm Griffiths, Mervyns. 1968. Echidnas. Pergamon Press, New York. Nowak, R. M. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Fifth Edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.