Therefore, no one has ever seen an echidna ejaculate.There have been previous attempts, trying to force the echidna to ejaculate through the use of electrically stimulated ejaculation in order to obtain semen samples but has only resulted in the penis swelling.They have elongated and slender snouts that function as both mouth and nose.

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The reproductive organs also differ, but both sexes have a single opening called a cloaca, which they use to urinate, release their faeces and to mate.

Due to their low metabolism and accompanying stress resistance, echidnas are long-lived for their size; the longest recorded lifespan for a captive echidna is 50 years, with anecdotal accounts of wild individuals reaching 45 years.

Some precautions that can be taken include keeping the environment clean by picking up litter and causing less pollution, planting vegetation for echidnas to use as shelter, supervising pets, reporting hurt echidnas or just leaving them undisturbed.

Merely grabbing them may cause stress, and picking them up improperly may even result in injury.

Breeding season begins in late June and extends through September.

Males will form lines up to ten individuals long, the youngest echidna trailing last, that follow the female and attempt to mate. When they feel endangered they attempt to bury themselves or if exposed they will curl into a ball similar to that of a hedgehog, both methods using their spines to shield them.Contrary to previous research, the echidna does enter REM sleep, but only when the ambient temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F).At temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) and 28 °C (82 °F), REM sleep is suppressed. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the young, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months.Some predators include feral cats, foxes, domestic dogs and goannas.Snakes pose a large threat to the echidna species because they slither into their burrows and prey on the young spineless puggles.The diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not closely related to the true anteaters of the Americas, which are xenarthrans, along with sloths and armadillos. Echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme.