- Family Tachyglossidae, order Monotremata: two genera and species.
- 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.
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek ekhidna 'viper', also the name of a mythical creature which gave birth to the Hydra; compare with ekhinos 'sea urchin, hedgehog'.
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