Are there really egg-laying mammals?



  1. 0 Votes

    Most definitely. The scientific name for an egg-laying mammal is a monotreme. There are five known monotremes in the world: the duck-billed platypus, and four species of echidna, also known as the spiny anteater. All five of these animals are indigenous to Oceania, Australia and New Guinea specifically. In spite of their egg-laying, monotremes are similar to other mammals, in that they are warm-blooded; they have a singular jaw-bone and three inner ear bones; they have high metabolic rates; they grow hair; and they produce milk.

  2. 0 Votes

    Yes, mammals that lay eggs are known as monotremes – examples are the platypus and the spiny anteater.  While monotremes hatch their embryo externalls in leathery shells (eggs), most other characteristics are mammalian – they have fur, four-chambered hearts, they nurse their young and most importantly are warm-blooded … although the average body temperature for monotremes is about ten degrees lower (F) than most mammals.

  3. 0 Votes

    We have all learned that mammals have certain characteristics that separate them from other vertebrates, like birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Such mammalian traits include the fact that they have a backbone, that they produce milk, which their young feed on, and that they give live-birth. It could not be possible that there are any mammals that lay eggs, right? Well, actually, wrong. There are in fact egg-laying mammals!

    The egg-laying mammals are collectively called Monotremes and they are the most primitive of mammals living today. They are found in the Old World, specifically in Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Representatives include the duck-billed platypus and echidnas.

    Duck-Billed Platypus

    General Description

    If you have heard of an egg-laying mammal, it likely is the duck-billed platypus. The appearance of this unique animal may lead you to believe that it is a mystical creature found only in story books, but in fact, it is a real live mammal living in eastern Australia and in Tasmania.

    Duck-billed platypuses are so named for, well, their leathery duck-like bill. They spend much of their time in the water and have slick fur that repels water and webbed feet. The webbing on their feet can be pulled up so the platypus can walk on land and dig in the banks of the stream. Their eyes and nostrils are on the top of their head to allow them to see and breathe while in the water and they do not have external ear openings.


    Males grow to fifty-five centimeters (about twenty-one inches) in length and are just larger than the females, which grow to about forty centimeters (about sixteen inches) in length. Males can weigh has much as two kilograms (about four and a half pounds) while females are much lighter, reaching seven hundred grams (just one and a half pounds) in mass.


    Duck-billed platypus feed on aquatic invertebrates and small fishes.


    Males have a spur on their heal that contains a poison. They can inject the poison into a predator if they feel threatened or are being attacked.


    Female platypuses lay two leathery eggs and incubate the eggs for about two weeks by wrapping her body around them. The eggs hatch and then feed on the mother’s milk for about four months.

    Conservation Status

    Platypuses can be locally common, but decline quickly when their habitat is disturbed or severely altered.


    General Description

    The short-beaked and long-beaked echidnas also are Monotremes, or egg-laying mammals. Short-beaked echidnas are more common and are found on Austrailia and Tasmania. Long-beaked echidnas are rare, endangered and found in New Zealand.

    Echidnas are small critters, reaching thirty to forty-five centimeters (about twelve to eighteen inches) in length. They can weigh between two and seven kilograms (about four and a half to fifteen and a half pounds). Their backs are fashioned with spines while their bellies are covered with fur. Their appearance is somewhat similar to the North American porcupine.


    Short-beaked echidnas are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night.


    Echidnas feed on ants, termites and other small insects that they stir up while digging around on the ground and in the fallen leaf litter. Their fecal deposits contain soil, which they probably accidentally ingest while rooting around in the soil for invertebrates.


    When frightened the echidna will quickly wiggle its body and dig at the ground, hoping the soil is soft enough that it can burrow in so just its protective spines are exposed to the threatening predator. Because echidnas live in grassy areas, their spines also may act as a sort of camouflage, confusing the predator into thinking the echidnas is just some spiny grass.

    Males have spurs on their back legs similar to the platypus, but their spurs do not contain venom.


    Several males, called a “train” will follow around a female until one of them is able to mate with her. Females lay one egg, which she incubates in her pouch for about ten days. Then she will nurse the baby with her milk for up to three months.

    Conservation Status

    Short-beaked echidnas are currently common and not in danger of becoming threatened or extinct. Preservation of their habitat will guarantee their survival and reproduction.


    It is difficult to believe that some mammals in the world lay eggs, but it is true! The echidnas and duck-billed platypus are primitive mammals that are incredibly interesting and unique. Their reproductive output is low, laying just one or two eggs each breeding season, but their have survived for a long time with their lifestyles. Platypuses currently threatened by habitat destruction while the short-beaked echidnas are relatively common in their desired habitats. You can find out more information about these unusual mammals by checking out information on Australia’s mammals.

  4. 0 Votes

    Thats only 2 you fucking idiot and all echidna species counts as 1 so wheres the other 3? dont post shit unless you can fully answer.

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