Friday, October 21, 2016

Australia 2016 - Australian Animals Monotremes

ISSUE DATE: 26 September 2016
STAMP SIZE:26 x 37.5 mm

This stamp issue features graphic illustrations of two iconic Australian animals against a backdrop of native foliage. The Playtpus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are both egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes (from the animal order Monotremata).


Monotremes share similarities with other placental mammals; they are warm-blooded, covered in hair and produce milk for their young. But there are also differences, including a lack of teeth as adults.

The Platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal found in freshwater environments within the eastern states of Australia, including Tasmania, and on Kangaroo Island. Its dense fur serves as insulation, and its broad, flat, duck-like bill helps it to detect the electrical fields of its prey. The diet of the Platypus includes crustaceans, worms and tadpoles.

There are two genera of Echidna still in existence – the longbeaked Zaglossus (three species) and one species of Tachyglossus – the Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). It is the Short-beaked Echidna that is found widely throughout Australia (as well as in parts of New Guinea). The Short-beaked Echidna eats mainly ants and termites, and uses its snout and claws to find food.


Echidnas are covered in both fur and spines, the spines serving as a protective mechanism for this shy creature.


Stamp images and description thanks to Australia Post

Australia Post