Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna
|Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna|
Flannery & Groves, 1998
Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi), also known as the Cyclops Long-beaked Echidna, is one of three species from the genus Zaglossus. All of them are found in New Guinea. It is named after Sir David Attenborough. It lives in the Cyclops mountains in Papua province of Indonesia near the cities of Sentani, Jayapura.
The species was described from a single damaged animal, which was collected in the Dutch colonial era (c. 1961). It has not been collected since that time. The Cyclops mountain forest habitat has been disturbed recently. This has raised concern that Z. attenboroughi populations may already be endangered or even locally extinct. However, many parts of the mountains are covered in thick jungle and have not been searched since 1961. It is possible that the animal still exists there or in nearby mountain ranges. In 2007 scientists found holes which they believe were made by the echidna poking its nose into the dirt while looking for earthworms.
It is the smallest member of the genus. It is closer in size to the Short-beaked Echidna than other members of the genus. It has five claws on its fore and hind feet. It has dense short fur.
- Leary, T., Seri, L., Flannery, T., Wright, D., Hamilton, S., Helgen, K., Singadan, R., Menzies, J., Allison, A., James, R., Aplin, K., Salas, L. & Dickman, C. (2008). Zaglossus attenboroughi. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as critically endangered.
- Flannery, T.F.; C.P. Groves (1998). "A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies". Mammalia 62 (3): 387-390. http://arts.anu.edu.au/grovco/Zaglossus.pdf.
- "New hope over 'extinct' echidna". BBC News (London: BBC). 15 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6897977.stm. Retrieved 19 August 2011.