Life History

     After the Tachyglossus aculeatus egg hatches, the young stays in the pouch to grow for about fifty-five days. At this time, the mother moves her young into a nursery burrow. The burrow can be a cave, tree root burrow, or a self-dug tunnel (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). The female leaves her young in the nursery burrow by filling in the burrow when she leaves. She returns every few days to nurse her young (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). Meanwhile, she is dealing with her own nutrition needs. Learn more about her prey on the Interactions page. After about two hundred and five days, the mother does noBy Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble via Wikimedia Commonst fill the burrow in when she leaves. This is her way of weaning the young. Up until this point, the body weight of the young has been dramatically increasing (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). She will not return to the burrow again, so the subadult is on its own.

     From the post-weaning stage until sexual maturity, the young is considered a subadult. While the weights of adults fluctuate a lot, the subadults do not experience seasonal fluctuation (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). Adult Tachyglossus aculeatus grow to be between two and seven kilograms (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). Their weight fluctuates throughout the seasons. Between October and March is when they are at their maximum weight. No matter what the fluctuation is, on average, females weigh more than males (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003).



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