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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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(egg Laying Mammals)

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Tachyglossus aculeatus
Ormithorhynchus anatinus

'Monotremes' Subclass Prototheria

  • Monotremes occur only in Australia and New Guinea.

  • There are only three species; two types of echidna, and the platypus.

  • The oldest remains of a monotreme have been found in South America, so historically they have occurred, and perhaps even evolved, outside of the Australasian region (Strahan 1995).

  • Both types of monotremes generally feed on invertebrate, of which they can detect their electromagnetic impulses with sensitive bills.

  • Both the echidnas and the platypus lack real, developed teeth, and instead have horny pads in between which they grind their food.
  • The males of monotremes develop spurs on the back leg, and in the platypus this becomes quite venomous in the breeding season.
  • Monotremes are most distinguished from the other mammals by the fact that they lay eggs.
  • Young are poorly developed after hatching and at a certain age left behind in the burrow (Strahan 1995).
  • These young monotremes are called 'puggles'.

Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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