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Behavior

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Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Tachyglossidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tachyglossidae.html
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Anna Bess Sorin, Biology Dept., University of Memphis
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Morphology

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Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Tachyglossidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tachyglossidae.html
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Reproduction

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Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

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Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Tachyglossidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tachyglossidae.html
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Anna Bess Sorin, Biology Dept., University of Memphis
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Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Echidna

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Echidnas (/ɪˈkɪdnəz/), sometimes known as spiny anteaters,[1] are quill-covered[2] monotremes (egg-laying mammals) belonging to the family Tachyglossidae /tækiˈɡlɒsɪd/. The four extant species of echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs and the only surviving members of the order Monotremata.[3] The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas, which (along with sloths and armadillos) are xenarthrans. Echidnas live in Australia and New Guinea.

Echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme.[4] This ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land.[4]

Etymology

The echidnas are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology who was half-woman, half-snake, as the animal was perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles. An alternate explanation is a confusion with Ancient Greek: ἐχῖνος, romanized: ekhînos, lit.'hedgehog, sea urchin'[5]

Physical characteristics

Echidnas are medium-sized, solitary mammals covered with coarse hair and spines.[6] The spines are modified hairs and are made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that makes up fur, claws, nails, and horn sheaths in animals.[2]

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Spines of the echidna

Superficially, they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines. They are usually black or brown in coloration. There have been several reports of albino echidnas, their eyes pink and their spines white.[6] They have elongated and slender snouts that function as both mouth and nose. Like the platypus, they are equipped with electrosensors, but while the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors on its bill, the long-beaked echidna has only 2,000. The short-beaked echidna, which lives in a drier environment, has no more than 400 at the tip of its snout.[7] Echidnas use their electroreceptive beaks to sense earthworms, termites, ants, and other burrowing prey.[8]

Echidnas have short, strong limbs with large claws, and are powerful diggers. Their claws on their hind limbs are elongated and curved backwards to aid in digging. Echidnas have tiny mouths and toothless jaws. The echidna feeds by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and using its long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from its snout, to collect prey. The ears are slits on the sides of their heads that are usually unseen, as they are blanketed by their spines. The external ear is created by a large cartilaginous funnel, deep in the muscle.[6] At 33 °C, the echidna also possesses the second-lowest active body temperature of all mammals, behind the platypus.

Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers, as they evolved from platypus-like ancestors. When swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines, and are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves.[9]

The first European drawing of an echidna was made in Adventure Bay, Tasmania by HMS Providence's third lieutenant George Tobin during William Bligh's second breadfruit voyage.[10]

Diet

The short-beaked echidna's diet consists largely of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus (long-beaked) species typically eat worms and insect larvae.[11] The tongues of long-beaked echidnas have sharp, tiny spines that help them capture their prey.[11] They have no teeth, so they break down their food by grinding it between the bottoms of their mouths and their tongues.[12] Echidnas' faeces are 7 cm (3 in) long and are cylindrical in shape; they are usually broken and unrounded, and composed largely of dirt and ant-hill material.[12]

Habitat

A short-beaked echidna building a defensive burrow in French Island National Park (43 seconds)

Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures; they use caves and rock crevices to shelter from harsh weather conditions. Echidnas are found in forests and woodlands, hiding under vegetation, roots or piles of debris. They sometimes use the burrows of animals such as rabbits and wombats. Individual echidnas have large, mutually overlapping territories.[12]

Anatomy

Echidnas and the platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. The average lifespan of an echidna in the wild is estimated to be around 14–16 years. When fully grown, a female can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms (9.9 lb), and a male can weigh up to 6 kilograms (13 lb).[12] An echidna's sex can be inferred from its size, as males are 25% larger than females on average. The reproductive organs also differ, but both sexes have a single opening called a cloaca, which they use to urinate, release their faeces and to mate.[6]

Male echidnas have non-venomous spurs on the hind feet.[13]

The neocortex makes up half of the echidna's brain,[14] compared to 80% of a human brain.[15][16] Due to their low metabolism and accompanying stress resistance, echidnas are long-lived for their size; the longest recorded lifespan for a captive echidna is 50 years, with anecdotal accounts of wild individuals reaching 45 years.[17] Contrary to previous research, the echidna does enter REM sleep, but only when the ambient temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F). At temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) and 28 °C (82 °F), REM sleep is suppressed.[18]

Reproduction

The female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg 22 days after mating, and deposits it directly into her pouch. An egg weighs 1.5 to 2 grams (0.05 to 0.07 oz)[19] and is about 1.4 centimetres (0.55 in) long. While hatching, the baby echidna opens the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth.[20] Hatching takes place after 10 days of gestation; the young echidna, called a puggle,[21][22] born larval and fetus-like, then sucks milk from the pores of the two milk patches (monotremes have no nipples) and remains in the pouch for 45 to 55 days,[23] at which time it starts to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the young, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months. Puggles will stay within their mother's den for up to a year before leaving.[12]

Male echidnas have a four-headed penis.[24] During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two.[25][26] When not in use, the penis is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca. The male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) long when erect, and its shaft is covered with penile spines.[27] These may be used to induce ovulation in the female.[28]

It is a challenge to study the echidna in its natural habitat and they show no interest in mating while in captivity. Prior to 2007, no one had ever seen an echidna ejaculate. There have been previous attempts, trying to force the echidna to ejaculate through the use of electrically stimulated ejaculation in order to obtain semen samples but this has only resulted in the penis swelling.[26]

Breeding season begins in late June and extends through September. Males will form lines up to ten individuals long, the youngest echidna trailing last, that follow the female and attempt to mate. During a mating season an echidna may switch between lines. This is known as the "train" system.[12]

Threats

Echidnas are very timid animals. When they feel endangered they attempt to bury themselves or if exposed they will curl into a ball similar to that of a hedgehog, both methods using their spines to shield them. Strong front arms allow echidnas to continue to dig themselves in whilst holding fast against a predator attempting to remove them from the hole.

Although they have a way to protect themselves, the echidnas still face many dangers. Some predators include feral cats, foxes, domestic dogs and goannas. Snakes pose a large threat to the echidna species because they slither into their burrows and prey on the young spineless puggles.

Some precautions that can be taken include keeping the environment clean by picking up litter and causing less pollution, planting vegetation for echidnas to use as shelter, supervising pets, reporting hurt echidnas or just leaving them undisturbed. Merely grabbing them may cause stress, and picking them up improperly may even result in injury.[12]

Evolution

 src=
Short-beaked echidna skeleton

The first divergence between oviparous (egg-laying) and viviparous (offspring develop internally) mammals is believed to have occurred during the Triassic period.[29] However, there is still some disagreement on this estimated time of divergence. Though most findings from genetics studies (especially those concerning nuclear genes) are in agreement with the paleontological findings, some results from other techniques and sources, like mitochondrial DNA, are in slight disagreement with findings from fossils.[30]

Molecular clock data suggest echidnas split from platypuses between 19 and 48 million years ago, and that platypus-like fossils dating back to over 112.5 million years ago, therefore, represent basal forms, rather than close relatives of the modern platypus.[4] This would imply that echidnas evolved from water-foraging ancestors that returned to living completely on the land, even though this put them in competition with marsupials. Though both existing monotremes such as the platypus and echidna have no teeth, the ancestor of monotremes once had adult teeth. Therefore, four out of the eight genes for tooth development were lost from those common ancestors.[31]

Further evidence of possible water-foraging ancestors can be found in some of the echidna's phenotypic traits as well. These traits include hydrodynamic streamlining, dorsally projecting hind limbs acting as rudders, and locomotion founded on hypertrophied humeral long-axis rotation, which provides a very efficient swimming stroke.[4] Consequently, oviparous reproduction in monotremes may have given them an advantage over marsupials, a view consistent with present ecological partitioning between the two groups.[4] This advantage could as well be in part responsible for the observed associated adaptive radiation of echidnas and expansion of the niche space, which together contradict the fairly common assumption of halted morphological and molecular evolution that continues to be associated with monotremes.

Furthermore, studies of mitochondrial DNA in platypuses have also found that monotremes and marsupials are most likely sister taxa. It also implies that any shared derived morphological traits between marsupials and placental mammals either occurred independently from one another or were lost in the lineage to monotremes.[32]

Taxonomy

Echidnas are classified into three genera.[33] The genus Zaglossus includes three extant species and two species known only from fossils, while only one extant species from the genus Tachyglossus is known. The third genus, Megalibgwilia, is known only from fossils.

Zaglossus

 src=
The Western long-beaked echidna, which is endemic to New Guinea

The three living Zaglossus species are endemic to New Guinea.[33] They are rare and are hunted for food. They forage in leaf litter on the forest floor, eating earthworms and insects. The species are

The one fossil species is:

Tachyglossus

 src=
In Australia, the short-beaked echidna may be found in many environments, including urban parkland, such as the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, as depicted here.

The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is found in southern, southeast and northeast New Guinea, and also occurs in almost all Australian environments, from the snow-clad Australian Alps to the deep deserts of the Outback, essentially anywhere ants and termites are available. It is smaller than the Zaglossus species, and it has longer hair.

 src=
A short-beaked echidna curled into a ball; the snout is visible on the right

Despite the similar dietary habits and methods of consumption to those of an anteater, there is no evidence supporting the idea that echidna-like monotremes have been myrmecophagic (ant or termite-eating) since the Cretaceous. The fossil evidence of invertebrate-feeding bandicoots and rat-kangaroos, from around the time of the platypus–echidna divergence and pre-dating Tachyglossus, show evidence that echidnas expanded into new ecospace despite competition from marsupials.[34]

Megalibgwilia

The genus Megalibgwilia is known only from fossils:

Murrayglossus

The genus Murrayglossus is known only from fossils:[35]

  • M. hacketti (previously classified in the genus Zaglossus) from Pleistocene of Western Australia.

As food

The Kunwinjku people of Western Arnhem Land call the echidna ngarrbek,[36] and regard it as a prized food and "good medicine" (Reverend Peterson Nganjmirra, personal comment[37]). The echidna is hunted at night and, after being gutted, it is filled with hot stones and bush herbs, namely the leaves of mandak (Persoonia falcata).[38] According to Larrakia elders, Una Thompson and Stephanie Thompson Nganjmirra, when captured, an echidna is carried attached to the wrist like a thick bangle.

In popular culture

References

  1. ^ "Short-Beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus". Park & Wildlife Service Tasmania. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Spines and Quills". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  3. ^ Stewart, Doug (April–May 2003). "The Enigma of the Echidna". National Wildlife. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Phillips, MJ; Bennett, TH; Lee, MS (October 2009). "Molecules, morphology, and ecology indicate a recent, amphibious ancestry for echidnas". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106 (40): 17089–94. Bibcode:2009PNAS..10617089P. doi:10.1073/pnas.0904649106. PMC 2761324. PMID 19805098.
  5. ^ "echidna". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Augee, Michael; Gooden, Brett; Musser, Anne (2006). Echidna : extraordinary egg-laying mammal (2nd ed.). CSIRO. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-643-09204-4.
  7. ^ "Electroreception in fish, amphibians and monotremes". Map of Life. 7 July 2010.
  8. ^ Bullock, Theodore H.; Hopkins, Carl D.; Popper, Arthur N.; Fay, Richard R., eds. (2005). Electroreception. Springer Handbook of Auditory Research. Vol. 21. Springer New York. p. 257. doi:10.1007/0-387-28275-0. ISBN 978-0-387-23192-1.
  9. ^ "Short-beaked Echidna". Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  10. ^ "George Tobin journal and sketches on HMS Providence, 1791-1793, with additional material to 1831". State Library - New South Wales. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Zaglossus bruijni". AnimalInfo.org.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Carritt, Rachel. "Echidnas: Helping them in the wild" (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  13. ^ Griffiths, Mervyn (1978). The biology of the monotremes. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0123038502.
  14. ^ Gill, Victoria (19 November 2012). "Are these animals too 'ugly' to be saved?". BBC News.
  15. ^ Dunbar, R.I.M. (1993). "Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in humans". Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 16 (4): 681–735. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00032325.
  16. ^ Dunbar, R.I.M. "The Social Brain Hypothesis" (PDF). University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  17. ^ Cason, M. (2009). "Tachyglossus aculeatus". Animal Diversity. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  18. ^ Nicol, SC; Andersen, NA; Phillips, NH; Berger, BJ (March 2000). "The echidna manifests typical characteristics of rapid eye movement sleep". Neurosci. Lett. 283 (1): 49–52. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(00)00922-8. PMID 10729631. S2CID 40439226.
  19. ^ "Echidnas". wildcare.org.au. Wildcare Australia. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  20. ^ O'Neil, Dennis. "Echidna Reproduction" Archived 30 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine 12 February 2011. Retrieved on 17 June 2015.
  21. ^ Kuruppath, Sanjana; Bisana, Swathi; Sharp, Julie A; Lefevre, Christophe; Kumar, Satish; Nicholas, Kevin R (11 August 2012). "Monotremes and marsupials: Comparative models to better understand the function of milk". Journal of Biosciences. 37 (4): 581–588. doi:10.1007/s12038-012-9247-x. hdl:10536/DRO/DU:30047989. PMID 22922184. S2CID 15026875. Developmental stages of echidna: (A) Echidna eggs; (B) Echidna puggle hatching from egg...
  22. ^ Calderwood, Kathleen (18 November 2016). "Taronga Zoo welcomes elusive puggles". ABC News. Sydney. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)". Arkive.org. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  24. ^ Grützner, F., B. Nixon, and R. C. Jones. "Reproductive biology in egg-laying mammals." Sexual Development 2.3 (2008): 115-127.
  25. ^ Johnston, Steve D.; et al. (2007). "One‐Sided Ejaculation of Echidna Sperm Bundles" (PDF). The American Naturalist. 170 (6): E162–E164. doi:10.1086/522847. JSTOR 10.1086/522847. PMID 18171162. S2CID 40632746.
  26. ^ a b Shultz, N. (26 October 2007). "Exhibitionist spiny anteater reveals bizarre penis". New Scientist. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  27. ^ Larry Vogelnest; Rupert Woods (18 August 2008). Medicine of Australian Mammals. Csiro Publishing. ISBN 978-0-643-09928-9. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  28. ^ Hayssen, V.D.; Van Tienhoven, A. (1993). "Order Monotremata, Family Tachyglossidae". Asdell's Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction: A Compendium of Species-specific Data. Cornell University Press. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-8014-1753-8.
  29. ^ Rowe T, Rich TH, Vickers-Rich P, Springer M, Woodburne MO (2008). "The oldest platypus and its bearing on divergence timing of the platypus and echidna clades". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105 (4): 1238–42. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.1238R. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706385105. PMC 2234122. PMID 18216270.
  30. ^ Musser AM (2003). "Review of the monotreme fossil record and comparison of palaeontological and molecular data". Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A. 136 (4): 927–42. doi:10.1016/s1095-6433(03)00275-7. PMID 14667856.
  31. ^ Yang, Zhou (2021). "Platypus and echidna genomes reveal mammalian biology and evolution". Nature. 592 (7856): 756–762. Bibcode:2021Natur.592..756Z. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-03039-0. ISSN 0028-0836. PMC 8081666. PMID 33408411.
  32. ^ Janke A, Xu X, Arnason U (1997). "The complete mitochondrial genome of the wallaroo (Macropus robustus) and the phylogenetic relationship among Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Eutheria". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94 (4): 1276–81. Bibcode:1997PNAS...94.1276J. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.4.1276. PMC 19781. PMID 9037043.
  33. ^ a b Flannery, T.F.; Groves, C.P. (1998). "A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies". Mammalia. 62 (3): 367–396. doi:10.1515/mamm.1998.62.3.367. S2CID 84750399.
  34. ^ Phillips, Matthew; Bennett, T.; Lee, Michael (2010). "Reply to Camens: How recently did modern monotremes diversify?". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107 (4): E13. Bibcode:2010PNAS..107E..13P. doi:10.1073/pnas.0913152107. PMC 2824408.
  35. ^ Flannery, T. F.; Rich, T. H.; Vickers-Rich, P.; Ziegler, T.; Veatch, E. G.; Helgen, K. M. (2022). "A review of monotreme (Monotremata) evolution". Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. Online edition. doi:10.1080/03115518.2022.2025900.
  36. ^ Garde, Murray. "ngarrbek". Bininj Kunwok Online Dictionary. Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  37. ^ Goodfellow, D. (1993). Fauna of Kakadu and the Top End. Wakefield Press. p. 17. ISBN 1862543062.
  38. ^ Garde, Murray. "mandak". Bininj Kunwok Online Dictionary. Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  39. ^ "Royal Australian Mint: 5 cents". 8 January 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
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Echidna: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Echidnas (/ɪˈkɪdnəz/), sometimes known as spiny anteaters, are quill-covered monotremes (egg-laying mammals) belonging to the family Tachyglossidae /tækiˈɡlɒsɪdiː/. The four extant species of echidnas and the platypus are the only living mammals that lay eggs and the only surviving members of the order Monotremata. The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas, which (along with sloths and armadillos) are xenarthrans. Echidnas live in Australia and New Guinea.

Echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme. This ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land.

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Échidné

provided by wikipedia FR

Les échidnés (du latin echidna, du grec ancien ἔχιδνα / ékhidna, « vipère » ; ou Tachyglossidae) sont des mammifères appartenant à l'ordre des monotrèmes (comme les ornithorynques) et à la famille de Tachyglossidae. Comme tous les monotrèmes, ils pondent des œufs, ce qui est un caractère ancestral perdu par les autres mammifères (les thériens). Il ne reste plus actuellement que quatre espèces vivantes : un échidné à nez court en Australie, et trois espèces de Nouvelle-Guinée, à long nez, qui sont en danger plus ou moins critique d'extinction.

Étymologie

Le nom échidné viendrait de Échidna (en grec ancien Ἔχιδνα / Ekhidna, « vipère »), une créature de la mythologie grecque moitié femme, moitié serpent, l'animal étant perçu comme ayant les caractéristiques à la fois des mammifères et des reptiles[3]. Toutefois, le terme pourrait également provenir du grec ancien ἐχῖνος (ekhinos) « hérisson » mais également « épine ».

Description et mode de vie

Les échidnés ont un corps robuste couvert d'un mélange de fourrure et de piquants, des membres fouisseurs, possèdent une petite bouche, avec une fine mâchoire, n'ont pas de dents mais une longue langue collante avec laquelle ils attrapent des termites et d'autres arthropodes.

Les échidnés vivent généralement en solitaire.

Reproduction

Pendant la saison de reproduction, la femelle pond un œuf (rarement plus) qu'elle transfère directement du cloaque dans une poche ventrale temporaire pour une incubation d'une dizaine de jours. Nu à la naissance, le jeune reste à l'intérieur de celle-ci pendant six à huit semaines, léchant le lait qui s'écoule des glandes mammaires débouchant dans la poche.

Liste des espèces

Au début du XXIe siècle, seulement quatre espèces d'échidnés vivantes sont recensées.

Espèces vivantes

Selon Mammal Species of the World (version 3, 2005) (25 janv. 2013)[4], ITIS (25 janv. 2013)[1], Catalogue of Life (25 janv. 2013)[5]

Espèces éteintes

Le site Mikko's Phylogeny Archive[7], cite plusieurs espèces éteintes du genre Zaglossus :

Échidné dans la culture

L'échidné figure sur la pièce australienne de 5 cents. Par ailleurs, Knuckles, ancien rival de Sonic, est un héros du jeu vidéo du même nom.

Notes et références

  1. a et b Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), www.itis.gov, CC0 https://doi.org/10.5066/F7KH0KBK, consulté le 25 janv. 2013
  2. CITES, consulté le 25 janv. 2013
  3. « Online Etymology Dictionary », sur www.etymonline.com (consulté le 4 août 2016).
  4. Mammal Species of the World (version 3, 2005), consulté le 25 janv. 2013
  5. Bánki, O., Roskov, Y., Vandepitte, L., DeWalt, R. E., Remsen, D., Schalk, P., Orrell, T., Keping, M., Miller, J., Aalbu, R., Adlard, R., Adriaenssens, E., Aedo, C., Aescht, E., Akkari, N., Alonso-Zarazaga, M. A., Alvarez, B., Alvarez, F., Anderson, G., et al. (2021). Catalogue of Life Checklist (Version 2021-10-18). Catalogue of Life. https://doi.org/10.48580/d4t2, consulté le 25 janv. 2013
  6. (en) TF Flannery et CP Groves, « A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidæ), with description of new species and subspecies », Mammalia, vol. 62, no 3,‎ 1998 (lire en ligne).
  7. Australophenida – monotremes and their extinct relatives.

Annexes

Article connexe

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Échidné: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia FR

Les échidnés (du latin echidna, du grec ancien ἔχιδνα / ékhidna, « vipère » ; ou Tachyglossidae) sont des mammifères appartenant à l'ordre des monotrèmes (comme les ornithorynques) et à la famille de Tachyglossidae. Comme tous les monotrèmes, ils pondent des œufs, ce qui est un caractère ancestral perdu par les autres mammifères (les thériens). Il ne reste plus actuellement que quatre espèces vivantes : un échidné à nez court en Australie, et trois espèces de Nouvelle-Guinée, à long nez, qui sont en danger plus ou moins critique d'extinction.

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가시두더지

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가시두더지(echidna)는 단공목 가시두더지과(학명: Tachyglossidae)에 속하는 포유류의 총칭이다.[1] 을 낳는 단공류 포유류이다. 바늘두더지 또는 가시개미핥기라고도 한다.[2] 오리너구리와 함께 현재까지 멸종하지 않은 둘뿐인 단공류이며, 총 2속 4종이 현존한다.[3] 벌레를 주식으로 하며 몇몇 종은 흰개미를 주식으로 삼기도 하나, 비슷한 생활 양식을 보여주는 빈치목에 속하지 않는다. 오로지 호주파푸아뉴기니에만 분포한다.

오리너구리와 비슷한 생김새였던 단공류의 공통 조상에서 2,000-5,000만 년 전에 지금의 모습으로 진화하였다. 허나 반수생 생활을 했었을 것으로 추정되는 조상뻘 단공류와는 달리 가시두더지는 지상 생활에 더 알맞게 적응한 모습을 하고 있다.[4]

어원

서구권에서 붙은 에키드나(Echidna)라는 이름은 그리스 신화에서 티폰의 배필로 알려진 반은 포유류, 반은 파충류의 특징을 가진 괴물 에키드나에서 유래되었다.[5]

외양

몸길이는 35-50cm이고 꼬리는 매우 짧아 흔적적이다. 몸 윗면과 옆면에는 센털과 짧은 비늘 모양의 털, 뾰족한 가시가 돋쳐 있다.[6] 몸빛깔은 검은색 또는 암갈색이며, 눈이 분홍색이고 가시가 흰색을 띠는 알비노 개체가 이따금 보고되기도 한다.[6] 주둥이가 가늘고 길게 돌출되어 있어 입과 코의 기능을 겸한다. 이 주둥이에는 오리너구리처럼 전기수용기가 있으나 오리너구리가 부리에 전기수용기 40,000개 가량이 있는 반면에 긴코가시두더지류는 상대적으로 적은 약 2,000개의 전기수용기를 갖고 있으며, 보다 건조한 환경에서 살아 전기수용의 필요성이 떨어지는 짧은코가시두더지는 400개도 채 되지 않는다.[7] 앞·뒷다리는 짧고 5개의 발가락이 있고, 길고 날카롭게 발달한 발톱은 갈고리 모양으로 되어 있어 땅굴을 파기 적합하다. 주둥이 끝에 달린 입은 크기가 몹시 작으며 치아는 없는 대신 혀가 길다. 머리 뒤에 균열진 모습을 하고 있는 귀는 긴 가시에 파묻혀 잘 보이지 않는다.[6] 몸 아랫면은 바늘 모양의 털이 없으며 색은 암갈색이다. 수컷의 발에는 털이 없으며 며느리발톱이 있다.[8] 평균 체온은 33 °C로, 이는 오리너구리 다음으로 낮은 체온이다. 겉으로는 개미핥기 같은 유모목에 속한 동물과 고슴도치·호저 따위와 같은 바늘 돋은 동물들과 닮아 보인다.

먹이

짧은코가시두더지의 경우 주로 개미·흰개미의 군락지를 찾아내서 먹지만 긴코가시두더지류는 땅을 파거나 통나무를 쪼개서 나오는 환형동물·애벌레 등을 먹는다. 특히 긴코가시두더지류는 길다란 혀 전체에 세밀하고 날카로운 가시가 돋쳐 있어 먹이를 붙들기에 좋다.[9] 혓바닥과 입천장의 뿔처럼 단단한 판이 먹이를 부수고 으깨는 역할을 한다.[10] 배설물은 길이가 7cm쯤 되는 원기둥 모양이다. 흙과 개미굴·흰개미집 성분이 많이 들어 있기 때문에 종종 모습이 불규칙적이고 부서져 있을 때가 많다.[10]

서식

굴을 파는 가시두더지

극심한 온도 차이를 견딜 수 있는 수단이 없어, 비교적 온도차가 적은 동굴이나 돌 틈새를 거처로 삼는다. 단독 생활을 하는 동물로 초원이나 평원보다는 삼림 지대에서 보다 많이 찾을 수 있으며, 초목과 나무뿌리, 낙엽 사이에 잘 숨어 눈에 잘 띄지 않는다. 보통은 스스로 수직으로 굴을 파나 이따금 토끼웜뱃이 파 놓은 빈 굴을 드나들기도 한다. 활동 영역은 매우 넓기 때문에 가시두더지들끼리 겹치는 경우가 많다.[10] 또한 가시두더지는 헤엄을 잘 치는 동물으로, 목욕을 할 때는 주둥이와 윗가시를 최대한 물 밖으로 빼고 네 다리를 휘저으며 자맥질을 하는데, 주로 몸을 청결하고 개운히 하기 위하여 헤엄을 친다.[11]

해부

가시두더지와 오리너구리는 단공류(학명: Monotremata)로, 원수아강(학명: Australosphenida)에 속하는 가장 원시적인 형태의 포유류로서 오직 두 갈래밖에 없는 알을 낳는 포유류이다. 야생 상태에서 평균 수명은 약 14-16년이며, 성숙한 가시두더지는 암컷이 4.5kg, 수컷이 6kg까지 자랄 수 있다.[10] 주로 크기 비교를 통해 암수를 구분할 수 있으며 수컷이 암컷보다 25% 가량 몸집이 더 크다. 생식기 또한 차이가 나지만 생식과 배설의 기능을 겸하는 총배설강이라는 기관은 암수 양쪽 모두에 달려 있어 이 기준으로 구분하기는 어렵다.[6]

대뇌피질 가운데 신피질이 절반을 차지하며,[12] 이것은 신피질 비율이 80% 이상 가는 인간과 비교했을 때 다소 낮은 수준이다.[13][14] 신진대사가 느리고 스트레스에 대한 저항력이 드높아 크기에 비해서 오래 사는 편에 속하는데, 동물원에서는 50년까지 산 기록이 있으며 아직 입증이 된 바는 없으나 천적의 위협을 피한 가시두더지가 45년 정도를 살 수 있다고도 한다.[15] 이전 연구와는 달리 자는 도중 렘 수면에 빠진다는 사실이 드러났으나, 약 25 °C(77 °F)에 가까운 온도에서만 렘 수면에 빠지며 15 °C(58 °F), 28 °C(82 °F) 등의 온도에서는 그 정도로 깊은 수면에 빠지지 않는 것으로 관찰되었다.[16]

번식

암컷은 교미 뒤 22일째 되면 길이가 약 1.4cm, 무게가 약 1.5-2그램 정도 되는 작은 알을 한 배에 하나씩 낳으며, 출산 후 곧바로 새끼주머니에 넣어 다닌다.[17] 부화하는 동안 새끼 가시두더지는 난치(卵齒)로 단단한 알 껍데기를 깨고 나온다.[18] 퍼글(puggle)이라고 불리는 새끼 가시두더지는[19][20] 아직 태아의 형태를 벗지 못한 모습을 하고 있으며, 단공류는 유두가 없으므로 젖샘에서 직접 젖을 받아먹는다. 새끼주머니에서 45-55일간 지나면 몸에 가시가 나기 시작한다.[21] 이 때가 되면 어미 가시두더지는 육아용 토굴을 파고 그 안에 새끼들을 넣어 보호하며, 매 5일 간격으로 돌아와 젖을 뗄 때까지 수유한다. 7개월 정도가 지나면 새끼는 젖을 떼며, 그로부터 또 1년이 지나면 새끼는 완전히 독립한다.[10]

천적의 위협

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몸을 둥글게 만 짧은코가시두더지

가시두더지는 낯을 몹시 잘 가리는 동물으로, 위협을 느끼면 억센 앞다리로 곧바로 땅속을 파들어가서 몸을 숨기거나 고슴도치처럼 몸을 말아 가시로 방어한다. 이와 같은 강력한 방어 수단을 지녔지만 고양이·여우·딩고·왕도마뱀 등의 천적을 완벽하게 피할 수는 없어 사냥당하는 경우도 많다. 은 가장 무서운 천적으로 은신처인 토굴로 기어들어와 새끼들을 잡아먹기도 한다. 환경오염 또한 가시두더지들에게 치명적인 위협이다.[10] 또한, 호주 원주민들은 가시두더지로 별미를 만들어 먹기도 한다.[22]

하위 분류

가시두더지과는 짧은코가시두더지속(Tachyglossus)과 긴코가시두더지속(Zaglossus)의 2개 속으로 나눈다. 긴코가시두더지속은 뉴기니섬고유종으로 세 종과 화석으로 발견된 두 종이 있다. 가시두더지속에는 Tachyglossus aculeatus 한 종만이 포함된다. 뉴기니섬의 남동쪽과 오스트레일리아 전역, 태즈메이니아섬에서 발견된다. 긴코가시두더지속에 비해 몸집이 작다. 그밖에 화석으로만 발견되는 메갈리브윌리아 종도 있다.

각주

  1. Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., 편집. 《Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference》 (영어) 3판. 존스 홉킨스 대학교 출판사. 1–2쪽. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. “Short-Beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus. Park & Wildlife Service Tasmania. 2012년 10월 21일에 확인함.
  3. Stewart, Doug (April–May 2003). “The Enigma of the Echidna”. National Wildlife. 2012년 4월 29일에 원본 문서에서 보존된 문서.
  4. Phillips, MJ; Bennett, TH; Lee, MS (October 2009). “Molecules, morphology, and ecology indicate a recent, amphibious ancestry for echidnas”. 《Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.》 106 (40): 17089–94. doi:10.1073/pnas.0904649106. PMC 2761324. PMID 19805098.
  5. 〈echidna〉. 《Online Etymology Dictionary》. 2014년 11월 23일에 확인함.
  6. Augee, Michael; Gooden, Brett; Musser, Anne (2006). 《Echidna : extraordinary egg-laying mammal》 2판. CSIRO. 3쪽. ISBN 978-0-643-09204-4.
  7. “Electroreception in fish, amphibians and monotremes”. Map of Life. 2010년 7월 7일.
  8. Griffiths, Mervyn (1978). 《The biology of the monotremes》. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 0123038502.
  9. Zaglossus bruijni. AnimalInfo.org.
  10. Carritt, Rachel. “Echidnas: Helping them in the wild” (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 2013년 4월 13일에 확인함.
  11. “Short-beaked Echidna”. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment. 2013년 4월 13일에 확인함.
  12. Gill, Victoria (2012년 11월 19일). “Are these animals too 'ugly' to be saved?”. 《BBC News》.
  13. Dunbar, R.I.M. (1993). “Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in humans”. 《Behavioral and Brain Sciences》 16 (4): 681–735. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00032325.
  14. Dunbar, R.I.M. “The Social Brain Hypothesis” (PDF). 《University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience》. 12 April 2016에 원본 문서 (PDF)에서 보존된 문서. 4 January 2014에 확인함.
  15. Cason, M. (2009). Tachyglossus aculeatus. Animal Diversity. 2012년 10월 21일에 확인함.
  16. Nicol, SC; Andersen, NA; Phillips, NH; Berger, BJ (March 2000). “The echidna manifests typical characteristics of rapid eye movement sleep”. 《Neurosci. Lett.283 (1): 49–52. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(00)00922-8. PMID 10729631.
  17. “Echidnas”. 《wildcare.org.au》. Wildcare Australia. 2016년 11월 20일에 확인함.
  18. O'Neil, Dennis. "Echidna Reproduction" Archived 2015년 4월 30일 - 웨이백 머신 12 February 2011. Retrieved on 17 June 2015.
  19. Kuruppath, Sanjana; Bisana, Swathi; Sharp, Julie A; Lefevre, Christophe; Kumar, Satish; Nicholas, Kevin R (2012년 8월 11일). “Monotremes and marsupials: Comparative models to better understand the function of milk”. 《Journal of Biosciences》 37 (4): 581–588. doi:10.1007/s12038-012-9247-x. Developmental stages of echidna: (A) Echidna eggs; (B) Echidna puggle hatching from egg...
  20. Calderwood, Kathleen (2016년 11월 18일). “Taronga Zoo welcomes elusive puggles”. 《ABC News》 (영어) (Sydney). 2016년 11월 20일에 확인함.
  21. “Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)”. Arkive.org. 13 August 2009에 원본 문서에서 보존된 문서. 21 October 2009에 확인함.
  22. SIMMONDS, Peter Lund (1859). 《The Curiosities of Food: Or Dainties and Delicacies of Different Nations Obtained from the Animal Kingdom》 (영어). Bentley.
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