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Two albino egg-laying mammals were found in Australia

Two albino egg-laying mammals were found in Australia

In Australia, two extremely rare albino echidnas have been discovered two weeks apart. What do we know about these egg-laying mammals? We take stock.

What are echidnas?

In the world of egg-laying mammals, the platypus is often mentioned, but not the only one. Another example is the echidna, which cools itself by blowing snot bubbles.

Physically, these animals have a cylindrical body, as well as short, but powerful limbs. Their snouts are long and sharp, while their tongues are specially designed to collect ants, termites and other small invertebrates from the ground. Note that echidnas are hairy animals, but also have quills similar to hedgehogs.

In these mammals, females lay one or two eggs. They are then enclosed in a pouch located in the stomach. After hatching, the little echidnas stay indoors until they are mature enough to fend for themselves.

Finally, there are many types. Short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is common throughout temperate Australia and lowland New Guinea. Long-beaked echidnas (three species of the genus Jacklossus) live only in the highlands of New Guinea. You can find them mainly in trees, forests and semi-arid areas.

Two very rare sightings

The color of the fur of these animals varies depending on the species they belong to. However, this usually goes away Dark brown to light brown, with color variations ranging from reddish brown to black brown. The color of this fur can be affected by factors such as the age of the individual and environmental conditions. However, these animals can also suffer from albinism. Also, two sightings were recently made in Australia, which is particularly rare.

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The first step was made on a road in the Bathurst area ABC News. A man is said to have helped the echidna (now nicknamed Raffy) cross safely before local council officers spotted him. Eleven days later, Australia’s Wildlife Information, Recovery and Education Service (WIRES) Published Pictures and video of a second albino short-beak echidna (nicknamed Mr. Spike) in New South Wales. He looked like he had been hit by a car. However, he won’t be Only minor injuries were sustained.

Raffie the albino echidna was spotted on a road in Bathurst, New South Wales. Credits: Bathurst Regional Council

As a reminder, albinism is a genetic condition that causes a Partial or complete absence of pigmentation Due to defect in skin, hair and eyes or No melanin production. This mutation may be inherited from a parent or may occur sporadically.

In relation to these two models, Bathurst Regional Council has asked the public not to approach them at the risk of disrupting their normal behaviour.