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Meet an adorable, spiky baby echidna

Meet an adorable, spiky baby echidna
Posted at 10:54 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 10:55:46-04

A new baby is ready for her close-up, just watch out for those spikes.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is sharing images of Sydney the puggle. A puggle is a baby echidna, an Australian relative of the platypus. They are sometimes called a spiny anteater.

Echidna’s are one of only five species of mammals who lay eggs. Sydney started in a grape-sized, leathery egg that was carried in her mom’s pouch for ten days. Once hatched, a jelly bean-sized Sydney stayed in mom’s pouch nursing milk for awhile, before climbing out and staying close to the den.

Those hollow spines start poking through at roughly 53 days old. The spines are a camouflage in the wild. Echidnas are found natively throughout New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania, in a wide range of habitats from snow-covered mountains to deserts.

At about seven months old, Sydney is now ready to venture out of the den and be seen by visitors.