Sir David’s Long-Beaked Echidna

Sir David’s Long-Beaked Echidna Zaglossus attenboroughi

Type of Animal:

Mountain forest

Cyclops Mountains of NE West Papua

Smallest species of long-beaked echidna & 2nd smallest echidna species, dark to black coloration, raw umber brown fur, white spines, long snout

Worms, termites, ants, insect larvae

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Cyclops Mountains Strict Nature Reserve created in 1978 to protect this species


Additional Info:

Young: Puggle
Group: Solitary
Male: 20-22 lbs
Female: 11-13 lbs
Young: 1 lb

2 months 

Life Span:
15-16 years

Body Length:
Male: 1 ft
Female: 0.9 ft

Tail Length:
0.4 in, same for both sexes

Main predators are dogs.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Species described from single damaged specimen collected in 1961.
Critically endangered due to habitat loss/destruction, introduction of dogs, & hunting for meat.
Roll into spiny ball when threatened.
These animals are extremely elusive.
Systematic revision of genus Zaglossus by Tim F. Flannery & Colin P. Groves in 1998 split Long-Beaked Echidna into 3 species-this species, the Western Long-Beaked Echidna, & the Eastern Long-Beaked Echidna.
These animals thought to be extinct until “nose pokes” found-these “nose pokes” very distinctive resulting from feeding technique in which they poke & slurp up food through tube-like beak.
One of the oldest living mammal species.
They are very powerful diggers.
While they lack teeth, the tongue has teeth-like spikes.
They have an excellent sense of smell.
Males have ankle spurs which are used in fights as well as in defense.
Locally known as Payangko.
1 of only 5 mammal species to lay eggs-all being from order of egg-laying mammals called Monotremes.
The snout is 8 inches long.

Fun Fact(s):
Meat sometimes used as peace offering between rival parties.
Like other Monotremes but unlike other mammals, they have single opening for peeing/pooping/breeding-the cloaca.
Also called Attenborough’s Long-Beaked Echidna & Cyclops Long-Beaked Echidna. Former named for famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough & latter for its range. Sir David name & scientific name also honor the famous naturalist.

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