Echidna: Extraordinary Egg-Laying Mammal (Australian Natural by Michael Augee, Brett Gooden, Anne Musser

By Michael Augee, Brett Gooden, Anne Musser

The echidna is among the world’s so much awesome creatures. it's a residing fossil whose kinfolk have been jogging the earth over a hundred million years in the past. just like the platypus, it's a mammal that lays eggs. And, like every mammals, it has fur and produces milk. This e-book describes the echidna’s way of life and the diversifications that experience made it such a success. It attracts at the most modern examine into those unknown creatures, overlaying their evolution, anatomy, senses, copy, behaviour, feeding behavior and metabolism. The authors show a few attention-grabbing new findings, exhibiting how echidnas are masters in their setting, and never easily a few type of mammal ‘test version’ that went unsuitable. a last bankruptcy on conservation comprises details on captive vitamin and administration.

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Additional resources for Echidna: Extraordinary Egg-Laying Mammal (Australian Natural History)

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Most anatomists and palaeontologists agree that monotremes, therefore, show a mosaic of primitive and specialised features, as did many Mesozoic mammals. Some features within this mosaic are specialisations related to the particular lifestyle of the echidna and the platypus. In some instances these specialised features are also seen in unrelated therian mammals with similar lifestyles. Such features are termed convergent. 5). It is difficult to sort out the primitive components of the monotreme skeletal mosaic because the main groups that might throw light on their evolutionary position simply are not well enough known to make comparisons.

Photo: Gordon Grigg. A cardboard box is not a good container for an echidna. In a matter of seconds an unwatched echidna is up and away. Photo: Gordon Grigg. Echidna: Extraordinary egg-laying mammal 29 Echidna scats are usually smooth and cylindrical with broken ends. They consist of insect cases in dirt. Photo: Gordon Grigg. A male follows a female during the mating season. In the wild, trains of up to 11 echidnas have been observed. Photo: Gordon Grigg. 30 Echidna: Extraordinary egg-laying mammal A young echidna, about 40 days old, can no longer fit entirely in its mother’s pouch.

The base of the skull is quite flat. The jugal, a small bone of the zygomatic arch of most mammals, is absent in echidnas although it is present in the platypus. The tympanic region in monotremes, on the base of the skull, is quite primitive in configuration, which is to be expected given the primitive nature of ancestral monotreme jaws (see Chapter 2). The tympanic bone is not covered by a bulla (a bony acoustic and protective chamber) in either living monotreme family. The tympanic region in platypuses is completely exposed, but in echidnas a small overhanging lip of bone provides some protection for the middle ear.

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