Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
Found throughout Australia, the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is one of four living species of echidna. Short-beaked echidnas can live where there is a good supply of ants and termites. The short-beaked echidna locates its food by smell. The limbs of the short-beaked echidna are short with strong claws, as they have been adapted for rapid digging. They use these limbs to pull apart ant and termite nests to gain access to their prey. They also use their claws to dig burrows for shelter, and when in danger they can rapidly dig themselves into the ground if no other cover can be found.[
Despite its spines, the short-beaked echidna is preyed upon by the dingo, Tasmanian devil, fox, various snakes and lizards, and various birds of prey. The goanna, the generic name for any of several Australian monitor lizards of the genus Varanus, is a common predator of the echidna.
Like other Australian monotremes, the short-beaked echidna is an egg-laying mammal. It is believed that short-beaked echidnas become sexual maturity sometime after four years. The mating season for the short-beaked echidna is usually between the months of May and September.
The short-beaked echidna is an iconic native animal of Australia and appears on several Australian postage stamps and coins.