Long-beaked echidna, long-nosed echidna, long-nosed spiny anteater, New Guinea long-nosed echidna
Zaglossus (Tachyglossidae) bruneiji
Along with platypuses, echidnas are the only egg-laying mammals.
Pronunciation of scientific name
Over 30 years in captivity
570-650mm in length, 7kg weight.
Echidnas have a light-brown coat with spines on the back and sides. The spines are made of hair. They have a long, tubular, hairless snout and a short blunt tail. Males have a horny spur on the ankle of their hind himbs.
They are present throughout the island of New Guinea except in the southern lowlands and north coast, but possibly present from the westerly islands of Salawatti and Waigeo. The population is estimated at 300,000 individuals, a density of 1.6/kmē.
They inhabit alpine meadows, as high as 4,000m above sea level, and humid montane forests.
Earthworms make up the main component of their diet, but they also feed on other soil-dwelling invertebrates.
They are nocturnal and forage in the forest litter layer for prey.
Breeding, usually in July, typically produces a litter of 4-6. Echidnas lay eggs, which are kept in a pouch.
They are classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
The short-beaked echidna of New Guinea and Australia