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Animals belonging to the order Monontremata


2 families 3 genera

3 species


Found in Australia

General size


52 cm or 21 in.

General weight


1.8 kilos or 3 lbs


1.2 kilos or 2.1/2 lbs



Found in New Guinea

General size

56 cm or 26 in.

General weight

7.5 kilos or 15 in.


Found in Australia and New Guinea

General size

37cm or

General weight

5 kilos or 12 lbs.

Monotremata: Some of the characteristics these animals share only having one hole opening to the outside of their bodies,

-Ribs attached to neck vertebrae.

-Extra bones in shoulder.

-This animals most distinctive feature is egg laying. I unlike all other mammalian that give birth to live young monotremes lay soft shell eggs about the size of a grape 15 x 17 mm ( 1/2 x 2/3 inch )

Platypus: maybe one of the most unusual animals alive today. Having thick fur and webbed feet with a duck like bill , which has a sensitive touch with electronic sensors, inside the mouth teeth are replaced with horny pads. These animals feed on insect larvae, and small invertebrates. Their most active times are at dawn and dusk but can often be seen at night, during the winter months feeding can be extended into the daylight hours.

Females lay one to three eggs incubating them between the tail and the body curled up in a barrow, about 30 m ( 33 yds ) in size.

The platypus has been recorded to live up to 12 years in the wild, while in captivity reaching an age of 20 years is possible.


There are two kinds of animals, Long-beaked echidna is hairier and less spiny than the Short-beaked echidna . Besides having regular hair they also have other special hairs on their back and sides that grow into sharp spines.

The beat is elongated with no teeth but has a long protrusible tongue that secretes mucus making feeding for banks, termites and other insects easy.

Long-beaked echidnas feed mainly on worms, it has adapted to spines on its tongue helping to draw worms into its mouth .

Short-beaked species during breeding season develop the pouch and lay one egg, 10 days of incubation the young hatch. Prodding the mother stimulates the milk flow which nourishes the young up to six months. There is not much known about long beaks breeding cycle.

These animals can live to a fair age, echidnas in the wild live at least 16 years, while in captivity this mammal has lived up to 49 years at Philadelphia's zoo, and a Long-beaked echidna lived 31 to 36 years in the Berlin Zoo.

Fossil remains of monotremes they back found in Australia, possibly since the cretaceous period ( 100 million years ago )


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