Echidna, or spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus), nocturnal hedgehog-like animal of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Like the platypus, it is an egg-laying mammal, or monotreme. It has fur as well as spines and uses its beaklike snout to root out termites, which it licks up with a long tongue. A single egg is laid into a pouch, in which the young echidna hatches and is fed on milk from “milk patches” that open into the pouch from the mother's body. The young echidna is later placed in a burrow, where it is visited by its mother for feeding.