Western long-beaked echidna

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Western long-beaked echidna
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Monotremata
Family: Tachyglossidae
Genus: Zaglossus
Binomial name
Zaglossus bruijni

The western long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijni) is one of the echidnas which live in New Guinea. Fossils of this species have also been found in Australia. It is one of the four living echidnas, three of which are species of Zaglossus.

This echidna lives from 1300m to 4000m above sea level. It lives in alpine meadow and humid forests in the mountains. Unlike the short-beaked echidna which eats ants and termites, the long-beaked species eats earthworms. It is also larger that the short-beaked species. It can be told apart from the other Zaglossus species by the number of claws on the front and back feet. It has three (rarely four) claws.

It is an endangered species. Its population has been reduced by habitat habitat loss and hunting. The long-beaked Echidna is good to eat. Although hunting the species has been banned by the Indonesian and Papua New Guinea governments, traditional hunting is permitted.

In February of 2006, an expedition led by Conservation International found a population of them in what they described as a "lost world" of wildlife in the Foja Mountains of Papua Province, Indonesia.[1]

The echidnas and Platypus are monotremes, the only mammals to lay eggs.

References[change | change source]

  • Augee M and Gooden B. 1993. Echidnas of Australia and New Guinea. Australian National History Press ISBN 978-0-86840-046-4
  • Flannery T.F. and Groves C.P. 1998 A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies. Mammalia, 62(3): 367-396