Sumo echidna

sumo-echidna-1Echidnas visit my house yard fairly often and I know there are several different individuals — like the blonde and the brunette who shared the yard for a while.

A few years ago I saw an echidna just outside the yard who was much bigger than average. Last week I saw an even larger one. It came under the gate and into the orchard and naturally I ran for the camera.
sumo-echidna-2It seemed more wary than others and kept lifting its head and sniffing. I wasn’t game to go too close for fear of disturbing it so had to use the maximum zoom on my lens.

You can see how massive its legs are!

I wonder how old this echidna is, to be so big, and whether it’s the same one previously seen, now grown to top weight and, I assume, top echidna status.

Who’d argue with a spiny, spiky, long-clawed excavator like this?

13 thoughts on “Sumo echidna”

  1. Hi Sandi,
    No idea how to sex a live echidna from this distance but I have trouble calling any of my critters ‘it’ , and this one definitely looks macho, don’t you think?

  2. Hi Trev,
    Glad to hear there’s a few big old echidnas about, prickly and sad though they be. I know a few old blokes like that.
    A post about next weekend and the Fair will go up in next few days; I’m talking on Sunday at 11 at St John’s for a literary morning tea. See you there?

  3. Hi Sharyn, your echidna looks about the same size as the one at my place. I see there is a poster with your photo on it, on the wall at the Old Northern Trading Post Laguna, but I was without my reading glasses last night! What’s happening? And yes, echidnas do seem to have a sad/lonely air about them. Cheers, Trev.

  4. Thanks for telling us about your emigrant armour-plated lawn plough, DWG. And I often find my wild residents as equally infuriating as fascinating!

  5. The armadillo was a fascinating little creature to me when I studied Geography in fourth grade and he lived in Central and South America, and now that he has made his way into the Southern U.S., I have found that he is very destructive. And they are multiplying in great numbers!! That long snout goes into the ground for grubs even on a flat grass surface and plows the lawn!! Not fun dealing with an armadillo, and certainly not with all the rain we are still having!!
    Cold weather will provide a break!!! DWG

  6. Gaye, I think echidnas– like wombats –are weird and wonderful; so self-contained and busy. They seem rather lonely to me though. Do you get that feeling?

  7. Hello Sharyn,

    what a beastly beauty! He really does have the legs of a sumo wrestler. When I was wandering the botanic gardens at Tamworth several months ago, I caught sight of an echidna waddling through the bush, and I sat and observed it. What fascinating creatures they are. I don’t get to see many echidnas, so I really do appreciate them when I encounter them.


  8. Hi DWG,
    Yes, they dig on banks and around logs and rocks, and dislodge lumps of soil, but as I don’t have flower gardens in the sense of annuals, and it’s all rather haphazard here, they are welcome.
    Now an armadillo is a most exotic creature for us here! I hadn’t even associated them with North America – are they only down south?

  9. Very strange looking creature!! I would say give it the right of way too, as those spines could be painful. Just wondering…since they eat insects from the earth, does that snout tear up the ground the way the armadillo does? Armadillos just ruin my flower gardens from time to time, and no way to stop them!! Great photos!! DWG

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