Australian National Botanic Gardens

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One of Australia’s most unusual animals, the shy echidna is a welcome resident of the botanic gardens.

Echidnas have coarse fur and spines on their back, strong claws for digging and a long snout. They do not have any teeth, instead using their long sticky tongue to collect food.

Echidnas’ favourite foods are ants and termites, but they also eat worms, beetles and moth larvae. They play an important role in the Gardens’ ecosystem by helping keep the populations of these useful insects in balance.

You are most likely to see an echidna in the Gardens’ woodland areas, where they forage for termites around the rotting wood of fallen tree branches. Walk very quietly and keep an ear out for rustling noises in the undergrowth – echidnas are very shy and you will usually hear one before you see it.