A rare, spiny relative of the platypus was recently born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, a first for the theme park.
“Sydney is an echidna, an Australian relative of the platypus, and Busch Gardens is one of the few places in the United States you can see them,” Rebecca Romzek, a spokeswoman for the park, wrote in a release.
Also known as the spiny anteater, echidna are an egg-laying member of the Tachyglossidae family, and the babies are actually called “puggles.”
“When the puggle hatched from a grape-sized egg, Sydney was only the size of a jelly bean!,” said Romzek. “Today, Sydney weighs almost two pounds and has grown a full set of hollow spines, an echidna adaption for camouflage. At seven months old, Sydney is now enjoying solid foods and exploring the red clay of the echidna habitat at Animal Connections.”
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