We've seen echidna babies on this blog before: from one that's younger and creepily hairless, to one that's old enough to have reached the ugdorable stage. But this one... even knowing that baby echidnas have the cute name of "puggle" isn't enough to make this anything but hideous.
Its ugly childhood is actually far from the most notable feature of the echidna: it's an egg-laying mammal. The egg hatchs after about two weeks and then the mother carries the puggle in her pouch for about two months. Then, says the Perth Zoo where this one was born, “Once the puggle’s spines started to emerge the mother deposited it in the nursery burrow.” Ouch.
Along with the platypus, echidnas belong to a group called monotremes that thinks it's too special to obey the rules that everyone else has to follow to join the mammal club. I suppose the echidna figures that as long as it doesn't have a duck's bill, it's still less of a radical than its closest relative.
Thanks to Zooborns for the tip.
-Wombat (No Relation)