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echidna

Syllabification: e·chid·na
Pronunciation: /əˈkidnə
 
/

Definition of echidna in English:

noun

A spiny insectivorous egg-laying mammal with a long snout and claws, native to Australia and New Guinea. Also called spiny anteater.
  • Family Tachyglossidae, order Monotremata: two genera and species, in particular Tachyglossus aculeatus
Example sentences
  • The platypus and the echidna - a nocturnal, burrowing mammal with a spiny coat, long claws, and no teeth - are the only known living members of a type of animal known as monotremes.
  • These exotic egg-laying animals are represented by just three species: the duck-billed platypus and two echidnas.
  • Unlike platypuses, echidnas lack webbing and instead have large, shovel-like claws are present on all feet.

Origin

mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek ekhidna 'viper', also the name of a mythical creature that gave birth to the many-headed Hydra; compare with ekhinos 'sea urchin, hedgehog'.

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