© 2010 Kathy Keating Echidna


This spiky little guy is an echidna. My husband and I saw him while we were walking on a trail at the Tower Hill Reserve in Victoria, Australia.

Echidnas are small mammals found around Australia that look a lot like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have really strong (though short) legs and big claws, designed for digging up ants and termites (their favorite foods). Because of their short legs, they’re rather slow moving, and they have a lumbering, rolling gait. You can see this a bit in my movie below.

The name “echidna” comes from Greek mythology. It literally translates as “she viper” and commonly called the “Mother of All Monsters.” While they are a bit funny looking, I actually thought this guy was really cute! We saw a few of them during our trip, including a few brave guys slowly crossing the highway. This one was great, because he didn’t seem bothered in the least that we were only 10 feet away from him, watching and filming.

I took this photo and filmed this movie in December 2009, during a road trip along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

© Kathy Keating and An Expat’s Photoblog, 2010.
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