81 Fun Facts About Mammals That Lay Eggs: These Will Shock You | Kidadl


81 Fun Facts About Mammals That Lay Eggs: These Will Shock You

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

There are only two mammals in the world that lay eggs, and both of them are from Australia.

We all know that mammals are hairy, milk-producing, warm-blooded creatures and that giving birth to live offspring is an important part of what it is to be a mammal. This is true except for monotremes, a mammal that lays eggs rather than gives birth to live offspring.

The echidna and the duck-billed platypus are the only mammals that lay eggs. This ability to lay eggs differs them from other mammals. Their egg is about the size of a grape, and the shell is thin, brittle, and leathery.

Monotremes vary from other animals in that these egg-laying mammals do not have teats and deposit eggs. Milk is released via several pores on the female's belly, which are used to feed her young. Like most other mammals, Monotremes possess hair on their body, generate milk from mammary glands to nourish their offspring, and have only one bone in their lower jaw and three middle-ear bones. Many scientists think that monotremes have essential traits that indicate an ancient origin. These fundamental retentions must be considered in any effort to verify monotreme linkages.

This is difficult because either these archaic features represent an origin distinct from that of contemporary placental and marsupial mammals, or a method must be devised to illustrate how these properties might be held by a species closely connected to animals lacking these traits. Keep reading the remaining article to learn more about egg-laying mammals.

Afterward, also check out more interesting facts on are chickens mammals and do all mammals have hair?

Monotremes Examples

The reproduction process followed by these monotremes sets them apart from other animals on the planet. After the mating process is over, the female will lay eggs in its habitat.

After the eggs hatch and the baby is born, it feeds on the milk from its mother. This method sets these mammals apart from all other mammals in the world. Monotremes are known to be amongst the oldest living animal species of mammals on the Earth and are believed to have been evolved at least 120 million years ago. Monotremata is the oldest extant mammalian order.

Monotremata is related to more evolved mammals, such as marsupials, according to other evidence, including genetic data. There are two types of monotremes in the world: echidnas and platypuses, both of which are found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.

The following are the current species of egg-laying mammals:

The Duck-Billed Platypus, also known as Ornithorhynchus anatinus, is a unique-looking mammal prevalent in streams having burrowing banks. These extant mammals have a beaver-like flat tail and are slender and brown. A big, duck-like beak characterizes their visage. Males have poisonous spurs on the back of their ankles. This species feeds on bottom-dwelling invertebrates like crabs. These animals are found across eastern Australia, including Tasmania.

Tachyglossus aculeatus, often known as the Short-Beaked Echidna, is a common species found throughout Australia and New Guinea. These animals possess spikey front limbs that are designed for digging. These echidnas consume insects and spend the winter hibernating.

Zaglossus bartoni, also known as the Eastern Long-beaked Echidna, consumes nearly entire earthworms. They have spines as well. These animals reside in New Guinea's wet woods, particularly above sea level. The eastern long-beaked echidna comprises four subspecies, distinguished mainly by geographic location.

The Cyclops mountains of New Guinea are home to Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi). These are the tiniest members of the Zaglossus genus. This species is thought to be Critically Endangered or perhaps even extinct, as no specimens have been obtained since 1961. Interactions with villagers in 2007 (and traces of digging) indicate that the animal is still alive, but scientists have yet to see one.

Western Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus bruijni) is the biggest living monotreme, weighing between 11-22 lb (5-10 kg). These egg-laying mammals like to reside in alpine meadows and montane forests. This animal species is classified as severely endangered. They dwell in New Guinea.

There are three orders of mammals: marsupials, placental mammals, and monotremes.

Where can you find monotremes?

Monotremes are exclusively found in Australia and New Guinea; however, there is scientific proof that they were formerly quite widespread since Monotrematum has been documented from the Paleocene of South America. The platypus and four echidna species are the only surviving monotremes.

Monotremes can only be observed in the remote regions of Australia and New Guinea since the isolation of this location is critical. Australia was located on the outskirts of Pangaea, the last supercontinent, 200 million 'years ago. The short-beaked echidna is the most abundant and prevalent of the three extant species, and it may be spotted in open heathland, woods, woodlands, scrublands, and grasslands, as well as amid plants and hollow stumps.

These egg-laying mammals may frequently seek refuge behind plants or burrow into the dirt in bad weather. Echidnas are more likely to be seen in the early morning or late evening since they avoid high temperatures. The platypus dwells in densely forested places along Australia's eastern shore, where there are freshwater creeks and streams with steep, sturdy riverbanks. These egg-laying mammals have a range that stretches from Queensland to South Australia.

All egg-laying mammals do not have teeth. There are bony plates that are present in their mouths which are used for grinding the food.

How many species of monotremes have gone extinct?

Early egg-laying monotremes were prevalent throughout Pangaea but became extinct when more evolved mammals took over in other geographical areas.

Australia and New Guinea, on the other hand, split off before more evolved mammals arrived; therefore, monotremes persisted. Large echidnas like Zaglossus hacketti, which measured 3.3 ft ( 1 m) in length and 1.65 ft (0.5 m) in height, were among the extinct monotremes.

When did the monotremes go extinct?

Australia had a monotreme and marsupial fauna as diversified as the placental faunas of other continents until about the end of the last glacial period.

Many species were extinct during the Late Pleistocene. In terms of the number of species lost, this loss was equivalent to extinctions on other continents. For instance, whereas only 15 genera existed in Australia compared to 32 in North America, Australia's number of extinct species is about 60 compared to 51 in North America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 81 fun facts about mammals that lay eggs that will shock you, then why not take a look at is a penguin a mammal or are whales mammals?

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?