We’re not often up on the weird-looking animal beat, but these primordial creatures are too crazy to miss. Take a look at these baby short-beaked echidnas, the first successful human-bred births of the species in almost 30 years at a zoo in Sydney, Australia.
The Taronga Zoo is celebrating the delivery of the rare puggles. (YEP, BABY ECHIDNAS ARE CALLED PUGGLES!!!) It’s a victory for both the species and the zoo: echidnas are difficult to watch in the wild, which makes it very hard to study their natural breeding behaviors.
The curious-looking animals—sometimes known as spiny anteaters—evolved somewhere between 20 and 50 MILLION years ago, and remain the only species of egg-laying mammal other than platypi. They also remain one of the only species that blows our goddamn minds when we look at them.
Safely snuggled in their respective nurseries, the puggles have just begun to open their eyes and grow their spines, and they’re being carefully attended to by their three mothers. “A day in the puggle world consists of lots of sleeping,” says echidna-keeper Suzie Lemon. “All three mothers are doing an amazing job and tending to their puggles as needed.” The tiny echidnas currently weigh between half a pound and a full pound, but they will grow to be about ten.
Now that they’re here, the zoo can study their growth and the staff will become better-equipped to develop future generations. And though these weird little cuties are not yet named, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted now that we’re on the echidna beat.
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