Young Echidna, Coles Bay – AusEmade by ausemade

What can one say about the Echidna? Its cousin, the Duck-billed Platypus, gets all the press of being the oddest creature ever seen but the Echidna can give it a run for its money in pure weirdness. Just like the Platypi, the Echidnas are egg-laying mammals. Their long snouts are a result of their diet which is mostly centered around ants and termites. The weirdest thing about the Echidna anatomy however, is their four-headed penis. And weirder still is that half of the… nozzles, if you will, are shut off during any one mating. Somehow they alternate which ones are shut off and that seems to be the extent of the knowledge so far.

But the truly interesting thing about the Echidna are their brains. About half of their brain is occupied by the neocortex (for humans it takes a third). In humans it is this part of the brain that is responsible for sensory perception, motor control, spatial reasoning, conscious thought and language. Just like the Platypus the Echidna has electrosensors all up and down its bill that allow it to sense bioelectric fields created by other animals. And the most interesting thing is, that property is usually only found in amphibians and fish. It seems to be an evolutionary relic but that doesn’t it any less cool, does it?

Echidna by Dave_Gray