Talk:Echidna

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Sonic the Hedgehog has nothing to do with this article[edit]

I can understand that while Knuckles is a notable echidna, he definately does not deserve a whole section about him. Change the section to 'Notable Echidnas'. He does not deserve a picture on this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.199.116.175 (talk) 23:47, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed; the current link is preferable. He doesn't even well-represent echidnas anyway. MXVN (talk) 05:21, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree, knuckles deserves to be shot. Though, he could be used as a mascot to hel educate people on the dwindling numbers of long-beaked echidnas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.238.225.106 (talk) 14:20, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

A picture would be nice. (Kwaku)

The Monotreme page lists Zaglossus bartoni as another living species of Echidna. Could someone more knowledgable than I either add them here, or delete them there? GTBacchus 01:07, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

When does Knuckles ever dig? He climbs and glides, but I've never seen him dig...

Yeah he does, like in sonic battle advance. ~ fran

Could we have a better picture of Knuckles? --81.208.161.29 16:13, 12 May 2007 (UTC) echidnas are moslty mexican mostly —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.24.126.50 (talk) 16:05, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Dispute Distribution Description[edit]

Currently the article says: The echidna's distribution across Australia is the largest of any mammal (Parker, Janet 'Echidna Love Trains').

However I question the validity of this statement, the marsupial family of Kangaroo are also distributed across the mainland, New Guinea (Papua), and Tasmania.211.30.95.182 03:58, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • most kangaoo species have a limited distribution, no one kangaroo species is found everywhere in Australia.--nixie 04:04, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Add the word "species" to the end of the sentence in the article being discussed, and you have made rhe point more clear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.68.94.95 (talk) 04:03, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

News story from MSNBC?[edit]

In case you haven't heard, there's a new MSNBC story that talks about an group of scientists who explored the Foja mountains in Indonesia, and found an abundance of animals. Some are new species, some are species of animals that are rare or endangered - the article specifically mentions the Long-beaked Echidna.

Here's the link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11114156 It should be safe to assume that a reference to this article or event will be added to this page sometime in the future, correct? I'd edit it myself, but I'm not really an expert on the subject, article, or story, so I'd be uncomfortable making such an addition.

PS: I made one minor edit... Knuckles the Echidna can only glide, not fly.  ;) ---TheInvisMan, 03:05 PM EST, Feb. 07, 2006

  • The article doesn't say that they found a new species of Long-beak, all its says is that the Long-beaks weren't afraid of people. If there is a new species announced then it'll get added when it is publihed.--nixie 00:43, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Yo how do you pronounce it? The preceding unsigned comment was added by 84.166.130.80 (talk • contribs) .

Eh-kid-nah - UtherSRG (talk) 22:19, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

PBS Newshour[edit]

I was watching the newshour on PBS the other night and the explorers from the new guinea exploration team said they had found a new species of monotreme. They called it a giant echidna and said it weighed around 15 lbs. I have done some research on this though and the giant echidna is listed as an extinct species. So is this a new species or a "living fossil"? If anyone finds more info I would appreciate them if they would say something. I will do what research I can find and add it as I get it.208.65.105.38 03:43, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Oops I wasn't signed in when I made the above post.L337wm2007 03:45, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Good question. Can you dig up if they called it by a scientific name at all? They might have just been saying it was a giant echidna - a very large echidna - as opposed to calling it the Giant Echidna. - UtherSRG (talk) 03:49, 15 March

2006 (UTC)

So here it is I found the official transcript of this particular PBS program. I decided to just copy paste as I am still a little unsure on my ability to make links. I really hope this isn't plagerism.

JEFFREY BROWN: Then there is also was a very strange-looking animal called a giant echidna?

BRUCE BEEHLER: Yes.

Some people call them spiny anteaters. The echidna group is part of an ancient group of mammals called the monotremes. There are only -- there are somewhere between five and six species. They are egg-laying mammals. They are the only mammals on Earth that lay eggs.

And they have all sorts of other weird habits. This -- this little guy -- well, he is not so little -- he weighs about 15 pounds -- creeps around on the ground. Using his long beak, he -- he pokes into the soft earth to gather up earthworms. And he also burrows in the ground when he seems -- he gets fearful of predators or things like that. And he has got -- but he also has these porcupine-like spines all over his back. He's a weird one. There's no question about it.

So in reply he used no scientific name... I didn't think he did so 1. No scientific name yet or 2. It's just not in this info.L337wm2007 04:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Check the Western Long-beaked Echidna... it weighs in at 16.5 kg... that's about 36 pounds. So the critter he's discussing isn't so big. Just cut and paste the web address for the transcript and I'll look it over. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:27, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/jan-june06/lostworld_3-10.html here it is hope it helps :)L337wm2007 14:19, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Ah ha! If you click on the Slide Show, then go to image # 7, you'll see that the image is the same as the one inthe article and they label it s Z. bruijni, which is the Western Long-beaked Echidna, not a new species. - UtherSRG (talk) 15:03, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

well don't I feel a little silly.... thanks for the help though I will tell my zoology class.L337wm2007 02:37, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

spiny anteater[edit]

This term is increasingly rare in the land of the echidna (Australia), it is valuable to have it included, but I do not think that the name ought not be seen as interchangable.

If you ask about spiny anteaters you are likely to hear 'what? Oh, you mean echidnas.'—Dananimal 05:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually a lot of people seem to either think that the spiny anteater is an entirely different species or they have it completely wrong (isn't that a porcupine?) it should be included just for reference sake.L337wm2007 18:44, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Can you provide some citation for the porcupines being called spiny anteaters? - UtherSRG (talk) 18:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Plenty of historic references to them being called "spiny anteaters". See http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/27141516?searchTerm=%22spiny+anteater%22 , and http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/26088528?searchTerm=%22spiny+anteater%22 and http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15971223?searchTerm=%22spiny+anteater%22

Eregli bob (talk) 06:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Well actually I have never seen someone write it, but I have had several people ask me this sadly enough. I have also had many people not believe me when I corrected them. L337wm2007 15:55, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

The things some say about animals... *Sigh* I don't know why, but I always get sort of angry when I hear inaccuracies about animals. Dora Nichov 07:43, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Simple solution here, based on Eregli bob's note: add a phrase in the intro "sometimes called 'spiny anteater' outside its native Australia and New Guinea" set off with commas. Makes the point that the term is still sometimes used without suggesting it's common where the animal actually lives. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.68.94.95 (talk) 04:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Maybe it should also be made clear that echidnas are not actually anteaters, despite this seemingly increasingly more common nickname. It mentions that they are not closely related but there is no real evidence to show that echidnas have descended from anteaters at all, even those that do eat termites and ants. It's more likely that they diverted from ancient marsupials instead. I'm not sure if that level of technical information really belongs in the intro but it should be made apparent somewhere that there is no direct relationship between echidnas and anteaters at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shippley.3 (talkcontribs) 21:55, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

The first paragraph includes the words "they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas". I would hope that's enough. HiLo48 (talk) 23:24, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I definitely saw that but just figured that it could use some more expounding upon. Just in case, I made an edit to the "Tachyglossus" section with some information about how their and some ancient marsupials' fossil records further disprove the relationship. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shippley.3 (talkcontribs) 02:54, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Intro[edit]

I think the intro is quite dull and overly biological, and would like to add a reference to Knuckles the Echidna to make it a little more interesting -- but that seems to offend many people, who revert that edit almost instantly. I fail to see how it's any less relevant than the name's origins in Greek mythology, though, or indeed many other boring things in that cluttered intro. I mean, he is surely the only famous echidna. 81.170.11.105 19:41, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I can see what you mean, if you are not interested in biology. So, what if someone would look for information about Knuckles, where would they look here at wikipedia? I think either here: Knuckles the Echidna or here Knuckles. What people do you expect to show up here? And I would think people interesed in the species of this genus, not so direct in Knuckles the Echidna because they would look at the other places. And for that reason, I would think Knuckles the Echidna does not belong in the introduction. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

New photo?[edit]

Different photo

I found this photo on the most recent article from a different language, should it replace the current taxobox image? The colours are better, but I am unsure of detail. --liquidGhoul 02:30, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The current one shows face and feet better, we should keep it. There's already an image from the side in the article. Femto 11:04, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was leaning towards, but it is a nice photo. --liquidGhoul 12:20, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


Pokemon Reference?[edit]

I wish to ask your opinions about this:

The Pokemon Cyndaquil, bears a resemblance to the echidna, as well as having a similar-sounding name.

It could just be the sleep deprivation talking, but can anyone explain to me how "Cyndaquil" sounds anything, even remotely, like "echidna"?

Not a major concern, just something I thought of when I read the article. 58.106.209.10 06:17, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I just edited that part out. -iopq 09:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
... Whoa... Now that you mention it, Cyndaquil does look kind of like an echidna... I'm sure it's meant to resemble a hedgehog or a porcupine, but, seriously, this guy could be right... --Luigifan 12:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Sandslash, if it curled up, would look like that balled up echidna, wouldn't it? 69.133.11.119 (talk) 18:17, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Surprised no one mentioned Sandslash before now. Probably because its prior form (Sandshrew) looks like an armadillo, I suppose... Or something. ~ Joseph Collins [U|T|C] 03:11, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Picture gallery[edit]

Could someone add in a picture gallery? --Pezzar 07:58, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Obtaining one of these[edit]

Where can I get one of these animals? I really really like them and would love to have one of these. Michaeldrayson 15:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

They are protected in Australia, so you cant have them as pets, maybe in rehabilitation you can keep them where they wouldn't survive in the wild. http://www.echidna.edu.au/monotremes/echidna_rescue.html also read the wed page. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 07:27, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Genre?[edit]

According to the article "It is the only surviving genre in the latter..." I presume that this should be genus, and am changing it unless someone has a valid objection. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.188.128.146 (talk) 03:45, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

That is fine, genus is singular and genera is plural for those that don't know. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 07:30, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Genus/Species?[edit]

Erm, were we just going to leave it at family and not finish classifying it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.140.218.179 (talk) 02:15, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Read closer. This is not one species, but a whole family. There are 2 extant genera and 1 extinct genera in the family, with a totla of 4 extant and 4 extinct species. All 8 are echidnas. - UtherSRG (talk) 02:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

"bizarre penis"[edit]

Apparently so. As a male hominid, I guess I should count my blessings... yep, just the one.--Shirt58 (talk) 12:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Sonic the Hedgehog & Knuckles the Echidna[edit]

Seems like a there should be a reference to Knuckles (from the Sonic games). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.128.150.97 (talk) 00:52, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

i agree 67.86.119.65 (talk) 03:05, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I also agree! My first encounter with the word "echidna" was from a Sonic the Hedgehog 3. 206.53.59.77 (talk) 18:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Reproductive behavior[edit]

Any justification for deleting my edit below? Was related to me several times on a recent tour, there are a number of web notes of this. (I placed the {{fact}} tag myself).

==Breeding behavior==
A female in estrus will attract a number of male suitors. As the female moves about the mails will follow in trail, forming a echidna train several males (rarely over a dozen). At some point the female will halt and the males will walk in a circle about her. As the males grow tired they will drop out one by one until only one remains. It is this suitor that the female will then accept.[citation needed]

- Leonard G.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Leonard G. (talkcontribs)

Heresay is far from reliable. Yes, you {{fact}} tagged it, but still, it's just heresay. Leave it off until you can cite a verifiable and reliable source that this is typical behavior in the wild, and not just in a nature center. - UtherSRG (talk) 18:03, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, if I went out and got video of this somebody would probably accuse me of original research, right? ;-) - Leonard G. (talk) 20:34, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes. - UtherSRG (talk) 22:27, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I think if you got video footage of this, there are echidna researchers out there who would be much more interested! --.../Nemo (talk) 23:22, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
it is mentioned on the ABC (Aust. Broadcasting Comm.) article "Echidna Love Trains" currently in "External Links" David Woodward (talk) 02:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Also mentioned on the Pelican Lagoon Research Centre monotreme pages. http://www.echidna.edu.au/monotremes/definition.html#breed Research done by Dr Peggy Rismuller and her team. Dr Peggy has been studying echidnas since the mid 80s. Dewhitton (talk) 03:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Poisonous?[edit]

I read in a book a while ago (I think the title was "Venomous Creatures") that echidnas were considered poisonous, not because of their own venom, but because they make a habit of rubbing poisonous frogs on their quills. They have some sort of natural immunity to the poison, and the poison on their quills protects them from predators. I don't have any online source for this, and I've long since lost the book in question, but there must be some source out there describing this curious behavior. Lurlock (talk) 15:29, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Googling "Echidna poison" turns up a number of sources (e.g. this one) that suggest that, while having a poison gland similar to that of their monotreme cousin the platypus, its venom isn't poisonous. But it also sounds like there's something of a story to be told there. Can't see anything immediately about frogs, but this behaviour does sound rather unlikely. Still, the natural world is full of stranger things. Cheers, --PLUMBAGO 15:36, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
That behavior has been recorded in hedgehogs. I'm not aware of it being present in echidnas however. Albertonykus (talk) 06:41, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Puggle?[edit]

I was under the impression that 'puggle' is an incorrect term, and a common misconception among overseas visitors. This word is virtually unknown in Australia, and I've never heard a baby echidna called this before. I've also never seen it mentioned in any literature originating from Australia. Can we get a source?

I've also often read that a baby PLATYPUS is called a 'puggle' on international websites etc, but I've never heard this term in Australia either. Whatever the case, it's not mentioned in the Platypus article.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.233.200.181 (talk) 15:47, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I am about to update the article to correct the use of 'puggle'. Citation showing it to be incorrect: http://australianet.com/tlf/faq.shtml#echidnas
--.../Nemo (talkContributions) 03:55, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I am confused. Clearly baby echidnas are called puggles. Some people do call them that, otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation. What does it mean for the term to be incorrect? As far as I can see, this is saying that some people (biologists? Australians? webmasters of sites about echidnas?) do not use the term and do not like that it is derived from the name of a brand of toys. Why do these people get to decide on what English usage is correct? (I have no connection with echidnas and have never needed to refer to their offspring at all; my interest in this question concerns linguistic prescription and its motives.) Marnanel (talk) 03:14, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Linguistically, yes, the term has begun to be commonly used, and indeed, personally, I think it's quite likely that 'puggle' will become the common term. But as it stands, the etymology of this usage is very new and not formally established - hence "incorrect". Since wikipedia should reflect what has been and what is, but not set the trend for what will happen next, I think this conservatism should reflect that 'puggle' is, technically, a trademark name and it's use in this context is in error (or at the least, a relatively new term). I note that the error was apparently corrected, but the error has propagated whilst the correction has not. (also: I've not been able to find an exact citation on either, but neither have I found any reference to 'puggle' in this context prior to 2000 or so). Perhaps the wording in the Monotreme page would satisfy us both? To quote: 'Infant echidnas are sometimes known as "puggles", alluding to their similarity in appearance to the Australian children's toy designed by Tony Barber'  ? --.../Nemo (talkContributions) 13:06, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna[edit]

Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna is described as "recently discovered". This phrase will age and so, following the Manual of Style, should be avoided and replaced by a more precise and absolute expression. When was it discovered? Old Father Time (talk) 21:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

The article Sir David's Long-beaked Echidna contains several dates, but none appears to refer to an authenticated record of a live animal – or does "recently discovered" refer to the description from a damaged specimen in 1961? I have tentatively replaced "recently discovered" by "described in 1961". If anyone wishes to replace this by a reference to a live sighting, please do so. Old Father Time (talk) 20:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Echidna egg photo[edit]

Could someone add a photo of an Echidna egg?Francisco Valverde (talk) 18:55, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Relationship to true anteaters[edit]

First 2 remarks copied from user_talk:UtherSRG by topic starter.


Dear UtherSRG, could you please explain why you reverted my change in the echidna article? True anteaters are as closely related to echidnas as you and I (both us and true anteaters being placentals while echidnas are monotremes), and I suppose you don't consider yourselves close enough related to echidnas to mention it. Scarabaeoid (talk) 18:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, we're as closely related, but of course distantly related. We, though, are of no mention. But the name similarity deserves a mention. To say that echidnas are not related to anteaters is patently false, as you admit. They are related, it's just a very distant relationship. We shouldn't give false information. The truth is that there is a relationship, it's just a distant one, which was what the article said before your edit. I said as much in the edit summary. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Theoretically you're right, but such reasoning would make it a good thing to point out that butterflies are not flies that live of butter! Are there other contributors with an opinion on this? Scarabaeoid (talk) 10:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
You're talking about this edit, aren't you? Well, then UtherSRG is right, though the point may be a bit pedantic: "only distantly related" is more precise wording than "not related". The sentence isn't very sensible either way, though: there's no intrinsic reasons why an animal that eats ants should be closely related to anteaters. Ucucha 16:15, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe the reason that sentence is there is because one of the echidna's common names is the "spiny anteater". With that name, I think it's important to have something denoting the relationship. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:24, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Nat Geo as source[edit]

It's not clear which, if any, species they are describing in the June 2010 issue

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2010/06/foja-mountains/white-text

FX (talk) 15:35, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I guess Zaglossus attenboroughi. Ucucha 06:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


Cerebral Cortex of Echidna[edit]

"Neocortex makes up half of the echidna's brain, compared to one-third of a human brain.[ref name=bbc121119/]"

is incorrect, in the text, as well as the source. Human Brain is much more neocortex, 80% or more. I will find a reference for this and return. meanwhile, absurd claim that Echidna is more advanced than human is removed from page

Rustin — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.167.227.53 (talk) 16:59, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

You seem to have misunderstood the test in the article. It did not "claim that Echidna is more advanced than human", it simply spoke about relative sizes of parts of the brain, so I have restored your deletion. If you do find a better source for this area of detail about the echidna, please share it here, but do be careful editing the article without such information. HiLo48 (talk) 22:55, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not the original poster above, but This research paper might be of some relevance. It does not mention echidnas, but it does state that the neocortex makes up 80% of the volume of the human brain (this article says 76%, but isn't peer reviewed, and doesn't give a source). So the "compared to one-third of a human brain" half of the sentence, at least, would be appear to be incorrect - perhaps the BBC journalist misunderstood something? Anaxial (talk) 20:13, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I've identified a further peer-reviewed source backing up the 80% figure, and, furthermore, stating that there are no primate species in which the neocortex makes up less than half the brain. I did also find a NY Times article about echidnas backing up the claim in the BBC piece, but this seems to contradict the available scientific evidence, and appears to come from the same source. I will therefore amend the page accordingly. Anaxial (talk) 09:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Spines[edit]

Article as it stands doesn't explain what spines are for. Seeing as they are a distinctive and recognisable feature of the animal, it would be desirable to have some reference to the function of the spines (and perhaps how they are different from spines of hedgehogs and spiny anteaters). Bilby4 (talk) 04:19, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Penile Spines[edit]

I believe the article should explain the purpose of the penile spines in regards to echidna mating. It seem strange to include them in the discussion without explaining what they are and what they do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Collins.1116 (talkcontribs) 01:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Threats[edit]

When concerning how to help echidnas, it seems that teaching people how to help them seems a bit much. It would probably be best to not mention handling echidnas at all to prevent people from trying to help them directly, which would probably do more harm then good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Collins.1116 (talkcontribs) 01:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Penis Use[edit]

For clarity's sake, it may need to be established what is meant by "During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. Each time it has sex, it alternates heads in sets of two." Whether this mean it switches during each mating season or instance of mating is a little unclear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Collins.1116 (talkcontribs) 01:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Expansion of Evolution section[edit]

The section mentions the divergence of platypus-echidna and that this might imply that echidnas came from water-foraging ancestors. However, I feel that this could use a little more explanation of the evidence, such as their anatomical and physiological traits such as: as aquadynamic streamlining, dorsally projecting hind limbs acting as rudders, and locomotion founded on hypertrophied humeral long-axis rotation, which provides a very efficient swimming stroke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shippley.3 (talkcontribs) 22:05, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

At the end of the section it mentions how olviparous reproduction may have given monotremes an advantage over marsupials however it can be expanded. This advantage can in part lead to the observed associated adaptive radiation of echidnas and expansion of the niche space, which together contradict the fairly common assumption of halted morphological and molecular evolution that continues to be associated with monotremes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shippley.3 (talkcontribs) 22:22, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

The description section says echidnas are small mammals, but when I checked the source it states they are medium-sized mammals (and that was referring to the smaller short-beaked variety). I'm changing that to say medium-sized to be in line with the source 124.168.178.29 (talk) 03:45, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

I find this section highly problematic (and the article as a whole of rather low quality): The writing is confusing and there is a lot of speculation that is, at best, written in a potentially misleading manner. I think particularly of the claims of a close connection between monotremes (possibly also mammals in general) and birds/reptiles. If monotremes were non-mammals or if mammals descended from birds, e.g., this would turn the current accepted wisdom on its head. 80.226.24.12 (talk) 00:26, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Evolution section[edit]

Earlier today I deleted the last paragraph of the section, explaining why in my edit summary. NewYorkYankee reverted the deletion, saying, "The paragraph is cited. If it contains errors, you should point them out and look for consensus on the Talk page." Very well. I deleted the paragraph because it is full of nonsense about the relationship between echidnas and birds and reptiles. There is no meaningful relationship. Echidnas are mammals, and therefore synapsids; their history diverges from the history of reptiles and birds, which are diapsids, around 350 million years ago. The earliest birds didn't appear until around 150 million years ago, so the idea of echidnas being derived from birds is completely inconsistent with modern understanding (as well as inconsistent with the earlier paragraphs in this section). As for the sources that are cited here, I don't believe they support the statements made in the paragraph, but in any case the first one is quite old (1993), and the second is a primary research study dealing with a very difficult and rather controversial topic -- the sex chromosomes in monotremes are extraordinarily complex. (The second reference says interesting things about the evolution of sex chromosomes, but it does not claim to shed any light on the overall evolutionary history of monotremes.) Looie496 (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

The text was introduced in several edits on 17 November 2014 by an editor who has not been active since then. Should anything be done with the other text (after your removal is restored)? Johnuniq (talk) 23:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your willingness to work through the process. I agree that the paragraph is dubious, although I'm not a subject matter expert. Can anything of this information be salvaged, or can you write a better paragraph? NewEnglandYankee (talk) 01:19, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, I know a certain amount about the evolution of mammals, but very little about echidnas, so I'm not really competent to add material or fix it. I think probably something about sex chromosomes and their relationship to bird and reptile sex chromosomes does belong in the article, but I'm not capable of doing anything about it. In other words, an expert could probably find something to salvage here, but not me. Looie496 (talk) 02:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Then, unless someone comes forward to defend the text as written, or an expert appears, I think I'm seeing consensus that you were right in the first place. I withdraw my comment. NewEnglandYankee (talk) 02:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I've removed it again. I notice that the edits were made by a student as part of a class assignment -- a common way that articles get broken. The student also added some other material to the Evolution section, but I don't see any major problems with it. Looie496 (talk) 18:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

'True Anteaters'?[edit]

If you eat ants, you are an anteater. Why the distinction? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 09:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Because the word 'anteater' does not mean "an animal that eats ants", but is, instead, a specific kind of animal. The word for "animal that eats ants" is myrmecophage. Anaxial (talk) 15:25, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Ears[edit]

Why is the section about the ears under Diet? Shouldn't it be under Anatomy or something? 89.17.134.9 (talk) 10:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I moved it to Description in any case. Feel free to move it elsewhere, just not back to diet. o,0 ~ 89.17.134.9 (talk) 11:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Darwinist propaganda[edit]

"Echidnas evidently evolved..." states the article. yet there is NO EVIDENCE for "evolution", it's only a theory. 06:37, 27 August 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.250.171.53 (talk)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 January 2018[edit]

Echidnas evidently evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme.[3] This ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land.[3] Echidnas are able to find the wae by spitting on the non-believers, and are linked to their queens. 64.201.166.121 (talk) 14:49, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. —KuyaBriBriTalk 15:22, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Meme in the article[edit]

Not sure how long it's going to take for someone to notice that under the "in popular culture" heading, someone put "& Knuckles" at the end of the list of Archie comic echidnas. (It already stated Knuckles was there and the way it's worded is an obvious reference to the meme). Obviously I can't fix it because the page is protected, so I'm guessing that happened before the page was protected.

Bobby19456 (talk) 02:25, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Done. Glad you noticed.--Quisqualis (talk) 05:49, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

True?[edit]

The lead tells us echidnas "are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas". What makes the American ones the true ones? In both cases, anteater is a colloquial, common name. It's not the scientific one, where some real truth could validly be assigned. I see no problem in removing the word "true", and it would remove the hint of American-centrism presently there. HiLo48 (talk) 22:29, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

This American-centrism is also reflected in Anteater (disambiguation), but not in the articles Aardvark and Pangolin, so I support the suggestion. Bahudhara (talk) 03:24, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
I have no opinion on this, but let me just give a point to the 'True Anteaters' section above. Looie496 (talk) 15:14, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I read that before I posted, and was none the wiser. HiLo48 (talk) 02:12, 14 June 2018 (UTC)