ACU - Short-beaked Echidna
“A specialised snout pokes out from a burrow. It is dawn, and with the heat not far away ACU must venture out now to find her favourite food: a mound of UST. She mustn’t be caught in the heat - without sweat glands, there is no way to keep her body cool. But she does have Powers to help her survive: ACU’s Electreception gives her a clear sense of surroundings and prey; Her claws, as sharp as knives, help her demolish termite mounds and to burrow with rapid speed to protect the soft belly; She can swim and slow her heartrate to survive floods; She can deal with high levels of carbon dioxide and a lack of oxygen underground and during bushfires; She can turn into a bristling ball of spikes to avoid predation from above. But puggles have no spikes, and if MENGDEN discovers the burrow whilst mum is away then danger is nigh...”
Common name: Short-beaked echidna
Taxonomy: Tachyglossus aculeatus
Level: CARN | Form: DEFEND | Status: COMMON | BiOME: SCRUB + Forest
Overcomes: Fire | Flood | Drought
ACU is able to sense the electrical signals given off by his prey! Special sensory receptors at the end of his snout give him this ability, and he has around 400 of them! This power’s name comes from the words ‘electric’ and ‘reception’ being joined.
In a Clash, ACU automatically beats WING species, who aren’t able to carry her off with all those sharp spines on his back. She will bury herself deep into the soil, or a tree stump; anywhere that means they can’t turn her over.
ACU automatically loses a Clash to MENGDEN - an Apex-Venom species who shares her Scrub BiOME, and might find puggles (baby ACUs) an easy meal!
ACU has no sweat glands! This means he can struggle in the heat, and if he can’t find a pool of water to cool down in he could quickly find himself in trouble on a hot Australian day.
From the Field: Headquarters speaks to real-life Rangers working to save ANiMOZ species like ACU the Short-beaked echidna! In our From the Field series, we talk to scientists working across Australia to save the Rare and Highly Rare animals you know from the World of ANiMOZ. Today, we hear from Ranger Frank who works with …
The Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is ACU – a Carn species found across Australia. ACU are typically between 30 and 45 centimetres long, including their beak They have tongues up to 15 centimetres long to allow them to scoop up their prey. The largest Short-beaked echidnas are about seven kilograms, but they typically weigh two …
Know your ANiMOZ species: What do you know about ACU? If you’re a Ranger who thrives in the Scrub BiOME, you’ll already know about this spiky critter, but Rangers from elsewhere should learn about her too. ACU is one of the most wide-ranging Australian animals, found in every region of the continent and across …