Australia and Tasmania possess two animals of this order - the echidna, or spiny ant-eater (hairy in Tasmania), and the Platypus anatinus, the duckbilled water mole, otherwise named the Ornithorhynchus paradoxus.
It may be added that there are some marsupials, such as the wombat, koala, marsupial ant-eater and the dasyures, FIG.
The Marsupials include the Macro pus or kangaroo; the opossums, Phalangista vulpina and P. Cookii; the opossum-mouse, Dromicia nana; Perameles or bandicoot; Hypsiprymnus or kangaroo rat; Phascolomys or wombat; while of Monotremata there are the Echidna or porcupine ant-eater and the duck-billed platypus.
From the number of its cheek-teeth, the banded ant-eater has been regarded as related to some of the primitive Jurassic mammals; but this view is disputed by Mr Bensley, who regards this multiplicity of teeth as a degenerate feature.
The Myrmecobius of Western Australia is a bushy-tailed ant-eater about the size of a squirrel, and from its lineage and structure of more than passing interest.
There is also a scaly ant-eater and various species of pangolins, of arboreal habit, which live on ants.
From all other members of the family the marsupial, or banded, ant-eater (Myrmecobius fasciatus) differs by the presence of more than seven pairs of cheek-teeth in each jaw, as well as by the exceedingly long and protrusile tongue.
The range of the sloth is from the Guianas south into Minas Geraes, the armadillo as far south as the Argentine pampas and the ant-eater from the Amazon south to Paraguay, though it is found in the Amazon region principally.
ECHIDNA, or Porcupine Ant-Eater (Echidna aculeata), one of the few species of Monotremata, the lowest subclass of Mammalia, forming the family Echidnidae.
Among edentata the ant-bear, scaly ant-eater and porcupine are plentiful.