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Short-Beaked Echidnas

Short-Beaked Echidnas:

Short-beaked echidnas in Western Australia beat the heat by blowing mucus bubbles, according to researchers from Curtin University.

  • Short-beaked echidnas is one of four living species of echidna.
  • It is covered in fur and spines and has a distinctive snout and a specialized tongue, which it uses to catch its insect prey (ant and termite) at a great speed.
  • The short-beaked echidna has extremely strong front limbs and claws, which allow it to burrow quickly with great power.
  • As it needs to be able to survive underground, it has a significant tolerance to high levels of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen.
  • It has no weapons or fighting ability but repels predators by curling into a ball and deterring them with its spines.
  • It lacks the ability to sweat and cannot deal with heat well, so it tends to avoid daytime activity in hot weather.
  • It can swim if needed.
  • The snout has mechanoreceptors and electroreceptors that help the echidna to detect its surroundings.