One of the most interesting facts about Tachyglossus aculeatus is that they lay eggs (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). This, By Donald Hobern from Canberra, Australia via Wikimedia Commonshowever, is just one of many aspects that sets T. aculeatus apart from most other mammals. For these mammals, there is one breeding period per year, and it takes place between June and August. During this period, females only mate one time or not at all. Female T. aculeatus do not mate every year; in fact, the years that they mate completely depends on the individual (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). This is unlike most other mammals.
    Tachyglossus aculeatus’ genetalia are also unique. Both the male and female have internal genetalia, but the male’s reproductive organs are especially different (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). T. aculeatus only use their penises as a passageway for semen. Their penises are very distinctive, because they are bifid. Not only are they bifid, each half has two rosettes. Thus, their penis has four heads with one shaft. Each of the heads or rosettes have openings that are similar to a showerheads. Although T. aculeatus have penises with four heads, they only use two heads or one bifid at a time. They alternate which side they use each ejaculation (Johnston et al. 2007).
    Tachyglossus aculeatus become sexually mature around the age of two or three. They are considered mature after they take part in a courtship train, which consists of one female along with one or more males (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). In order to start the reproduction process, females let off a scent that attracts males (Rismiller and Seymour 1991). As a part of the courtship train, males dig a circleBy JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons around the female T. aculeatus, which leads to competition between males. After one male beats out the rest, which can take seven to thirty-seven days, he uses his paw to lift up her tail (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003; Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). Then they pair up and sexually reproduce for thirty to one hundred and eighty minutes (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). To learn about the growth of the young, go to Life History.

   Females successfully produce an egg their first time reproducing, while males do not typically successfully reproduce their first time (Rismiller and McKelvey 2003). The female produces one fertile egg after twenty-three days. At that time, she puts the egg inside her pouch, where later hatches (Rismiller and McKelvey 2000). To learn more about reproduction habits, go to the Animal Diversity Web.



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