Echidna find rewrites natural history books | Asia Pacific

Echidna find rewrites natural history books

Echidna find rewrites natural history books

Updated 5 January 2013, 17:08 AEDT

The echidna is one of nature's marvels.

Like the duck billed platypus, one of that small group of mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young.

Here in Australia, the short beaked version of the spikey creature is a relatively common, countryside sight. But its bigger, longer nosed cousin is thought to have died out on the Australian mainland thousands of years ago, existing in the wild today only on the island of New Guinea.

That was until a scientist from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington stumbled across an extraordinary find: a modern albeit stuffed long beaked echidna in London. Dr Kristof Helgen says he found the specimen while researching behind the scenes in the vast collection of London's Natural History Museum.

Presenter:Tom Fayle

Speaker: Dr Kristofer Helgen, from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC

 

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