STEPincLogo A

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 18:56

Prickly but Friendly Close Encounter

STEP committee member, Andrew Little, happened across an Echidna searching for ants in a driveway in Roseville Chase. It was a concern that he had open shoes without socks at the time and so stood perfectly still. He describes the experience.

As the Echidna wandered past it decided to investigate my leg. It was quite gentle and the tip of its snout felt moist, similar to a dog's, but more leathery. Clearly it had not come across a human leg before as it continued to probe with its snout. However when it finally started to raise a claw to further its investigation I decided it prudent to move aside. It made no attempt to run away, but went into a diminutive huddle.

Unlike most animals it has a fused jaw through which the sticky tongue slides. Also it waddles as its rear toes face backward. Apart from its spines, this must be one of the most innocuous creatures I have come across.