Biodiversity Presentation

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Biodiversity Presentation : 

Biodiversity Presentation Short-Beaked Echidna & Western Long-Beaked Echidna András Szeitz

What are Echidnas? : 

What are Echidnas? Echidnas are monotremes Monotremes are egg-laying mammals There are two main species of echidna The Short-Beaked Echidna The Western Long-Beaked Echidna

What do Echidnas look like? : 

What do Echidnas look like? Short-Beaked Echidna 30-45 cm, 2-7 kg Back and sides covered in creamy coloured spines Rest of body has dark to light brown fur Short, powerful limbs with long claws for digging Snout 1/3 the length of head Has a long, sticky tongue up to 15 cm long Long-Beaked Echidna 40-95 cm, 5-10 kg Back and sides covered in creamy coloured spines Fur ranges from black to light brown; black fur is thicker and can hide the spines Powerful limbs and claws for digging Only has three digits on its feet Much longer beak, it is 2/3 of the head’s length Has a long, sticky tongue

Echidna Ranges : 

Echidna Ranges Short-beaked echidna Lives mostly in Australia Has been found on New Guinea Also inhabits several smaller islands, as well as Tasmania Long-beaked echidna Most common on the western tip of New Guinea Several isolated subspecies found in other locations on the island

Diet! : 

Diet! Short-beaked echidna prefers ants and termites Long-beaked echidna usually eats worms They both are known to occasionally eat other insects

Habitat : 

Habitat Short-beaked echidna lives anywhere there are ants Desert, grasslands, heathlands, forest, alpine meadows Long-beaked echidna habitat is restricted to mountain landscapes and the rainforest This movie shows one example of an echidna’s habitat

Echidna Behaviour : 

Echidna Behaviour Echidnas are solitary, coming together only to mate Echidnas roam, however, they can return to their home ranges There are two common defensive mechanisms for the echidna: Curl up into a ball; Dig straight down into the ground, leaving only spikes exposed

Copulation, reproduction, mating, whatever you want to call it... : 

Copulation, reproduction, mating, whatever you want to call it... Females are followed by a ‘train’ of males during mating season One leathery egg is laid into the female’s pouch 10 days later, a puggle emerges with the help of an egg tooth 6 months later, the new echidna is independent

Echidna’s Niche : 

Echidna’s Niche Avoids conflict by foraging at night Uses its adaptations to access prey Long, sticky tongue; Powerful snout; Strong limbs; Powerful digging claws

When predator becomes prey : 

When predator becomes prey Echidnas do not have many natural predators Their spikes offer good protection They do sometimes fall victim to: Dingoes; birds of prey; Tasmanian Devils; Domesticated dogs and cats Cars, when crossing roads

Echidnas ≈ Reptiles? : 

Echidnas ≈ Reptiles? It is believed monotremes evolved from an early branch of mammals Hold valuable info on the evolutionary link between reptiles and mammals Numerous reptilian features in echidnas: Leathery eggs Do not sweat or pant Rely on shade or water to cool down One opening for excretion and reproduction Four-headed genitalia similar to lizards’ and snakes’ double genitals Limbs on side of body, instead of underneath

Threats... : 

Threats...

Conservation : 

Conservation The Long-Beaked echidna has been evaluated as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN Several conservation projects are underway The Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project in New Guinea has been researching the echidna’s ecological needs to better conserve it The echidna needs to be protected from extinction if scientists want to preserve its great scientific importance

Yay Echidnas! : 

Yay Echidnas! End

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