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The ears are slits on the sides of their heads that are usually unseen, as they are blanketed by their spines.
The external ear is created by a large cartilaginous funnel, deep in the muscle.
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.
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.
When fully grown, a female can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms (9.9 lb) and a male can weigh up to 6 kilograms (13 lb).
Individual echidnas have large, mutually overlapping territories.
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.
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.