‘Extinct’ Species Lives: Sir David’s Long-Beaked Echidna Spotted for First Time in 60 Years


An endangered species has been re-discovered on film, much to the surprise and delight of many scientists. Sir David’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) is named in honor of the naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough. The mammal has the spines of a hedgehog, the snout of an anteater, and the feet of a mole. It is a monotreme, part of the same family of egg-laying mammals as the platypus.

Videos by Outdoors

A group of students from Oxford University captured footage of the animal on a trail camera on July 22, 2023. The students discovered the footage on the last day of a four-week expedition through the Cyclops Mountains in Papua, Indonesia. It is classed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the last recorded appearance was in 1961. Many believed the elusive species to be extinct.

[embedded content]

With similar behavioral characteristics to that of a hedgehog, Sir David’s long-beaked echidnas are slow-moving, nocturnal, and live in underground burrows, making them very tricky to spot in the wild. They are known to roll up into a ball when threatened.

Echidnas share their name with a half-woman, half-serpent creature in Greek mythology, due to their hybrid appearance. There are three types of echidnas in existence. Sir David’s long-beaked echidna is the smallest and most threatened of the three. The other two are the Western long-beaked echidna and the Eastern long-beaked echidna, also native to Indonesian New Guinea. 

Source: https://outdoors.com/extinct-species-lives/