Mammals that lay eggs


You know of the duckbilled platypus but may (like me) be unfamiliar with its relative the Long-Beaked Echidna, AKA spiny anteater, which is cute in a dorky way, totally avoids humans, has offspring called “puggles”, lives for 50 years, and yes, lays eggs.

Are they smart? The New York Times article that brought these little dudes to my attention says “Among humans, the neocortex that allows us to reason and remember accounts for 30 percent of the brain; in echidnas, that figure is 50 percent.”

No word on whether they play chess. If they don’t, that’s another indication of how smart they are.

Echidna takes their name from the “Mother of All Monsters” in Greek mythology. Man, some zoologist had a sense of humor.


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