Echidnas are small mammals that are covered with coarse hair and spines. The spines protect the animal from enemies.
Superficially they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have snouts which have the functiοns of both mouth and nose. Their snouts are elongated and slender.
Echidnas have a tiny mouth and a toothless jaw. They feed by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and use their long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from their snout, to collect their prey.
Echidnas grow to be about 40 centimetres long. They weigh about 8 kilograms.
In the wild, an echidna can live for up to 16 years.
They belong to the monotreme family of egg-laying mammals.
After mating, a female echidna digs a burrow, curls up her body, and lays one egg directly into her pouch. The egg hatches in about 10 days. Inside the pouch, the baby echidna drinks milk from its mother's body. When its spines start to grow, the baby leaves the pouch. The female will feed her baby until it's about 6 months old.