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Monotremes

(Order: Monotremata)

Monotremes are peculiar among the mammals. They have all of the mammal characteristics: are warm-blooded, have hair and they produce milk to suckle their young but, unlike any other mammal, they lay soft-shelled eggs from which their young hatch. Australia is home to the world’s only platypus (Family: Ornithorhynchidae), and the only short-beaked species of echidna (Family: Tachyglossidae). The three species of long-beaked echidnas are now considered to be restricted to New Guinea since the Western Long-beaked Echidna Zaglossus bruijnii was declared extinct in Australia, with the last Australian specimen collected in 1901.

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