Nature creativity is huge. Have you ever asked yourself what are some mammals that lay eggs? When you think of animals that lay eggs, birds, reptiles, and amphibians probably spring to mind, not mammals. Yet echidnas and platypuses, both mammals, do just that. These animals belong to a small group of mammals called monotremes. Like all mammals, monotremes are warm-blooded, have fur, and feed their young with mother's milk. But instead of giving birth to live young, monotremes lay eggs.
Echidna One and Two
There are two species of echidnas and both lay eggs. The short-beaked echidna lives in Australia's southeast coast, while long-beaked echidna is found in the highlands of New Guinea. After a female echidna mates, she lays an egg no bigger than a grape directly into a pouch on her abdomen. The egg hatches inside the pouch after a few weeks.
Blind, furless, and helpless, the baby echidna, called a puggle, nurses from milk that comes from glands in the mother's skin. The newborn stays in the pouch until it grows spines, about two months later. The puggle still needs to be cared for, so mother digs her baby a burrow and comes back to feed it until it is ready to live on its own. This happens around seven months.
What a Puss!
With its duck-like bill, flat tail, waterproof fur, webbed feet, the platypus is one strange-looking creature. It lives in lakes and streams in Australia and Tasmania. Like echidnas, the platypus lays eggs. However, it does not have a pouch. Instead, the platypus mom-to-be digs a tunnel into the muddy banks and scoops out a "room" that she lines with leaves. She lays one or two eggs in her nest and stays curled over them until they hatch in 10 days. Like echidnas, the platypus doesn't have nipples, so her young lap up milk from patches on her abdomen. The young platypuses remain with their mother for six months before they go off their own.