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Quite Interesting

I found this little piece and thought it was quite interesting  :)  I love hedgehogs, though ours here in Australia are a little different and are called "echidnas".  They have sharp spines and eat ants.

Today's advent image
According to Wikipedia:

Echidnas (play /ɪˈkɪdnə/), also known as spiny anteaters,[2] belong to the familyTachyglossidae in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. There are four extantPlatypus, are the only surviving members of that order and are the only extant mammals that lay eggs.[3] Although their diet consists largely of ants and termites, they are only distantly related to the true anteaters of the Americas. They live in New Guinea and Australia. The echidnas are named after a monster in ancient Greek mythology

Echidnas are small mammals that are covered with coarse hair and spines. Superficially they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have snouts which have the functiοns of both mouth and nose. Their snouts are elongated and slender. They have very short, strong limbs with large claws and are powerful diggers. Echidnas have a tiny mouth and a toothless jaw. They feed by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and use their long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from their snout, to collect their prey. The Short-beaked Echidna's diet consists largely of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species typically eat worms and insect larvae.[4]

The long-beaked echidnas have tiny spines on their tongues that help capture their prey.[4]
Echidnas and the Platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. The female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg twenty-two days after mating and deposits it directly into her pouch. Hatching takes place after ten days; the young echidna, called a puggle, then sucks milk from the pores of the two milk patches (monotremes have no nipples) and remains in the pouch for forty-five to fifty-five days, at which time it starts to develop spines. The mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the puggle, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months. The average wild echidna can grow as old as 16 years.
Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.
Contrary to previous research, the echidna does enter REM sleep, albeit only when the ambient temperature is around 25°C. At temperatures of 15°C and 28°C REM sleep is suppressed.
Echidna anatomy in a nutshell

 Baby echidna, known as a puggle. 

Adult echidna

I find, however, that I prefer the look of hedgehogs overall; I think they are much, much cuter, so play the video above and I'm sure you'll be as captivated as I was!  :)  I just love their  little paws and sweet faces...Peace out!!!  Go Anteaters!!!

~~ Penelope ~~


Christmas Memories

Another year, another Christmas!  A strange one for me, this year...Sid has been quite ill, though home from hospital now, plus most of my State is under water with cyclone generated rain!  I'm not alone in thinking maybe I should grow fins and swim about instead of walking  :)  The ducks are in heaven, though, LOL

Going through some old pictures, I found one of my darling niece Lynne and me sitting on Santa's knee.  It is very old and a black and white, but I still recall clearly the dresses each of us we were wearing.  Mine was pale blue with white flower sprigs and Lynne's was light brown with little yellow ducks around the hem.  I was about ten and Lynnie was two...such innocence, though Lynnie looks a trifle overwhelmed  :)  She is now a mother to three grown sons!

These next two pix I had to share; the two decorations were made by my clever sister, Beverley, who is a craftswoman to her bones!   She does wonderful needlework, and designed and stitched the bootee and the diamond.  Not bad for an eighty year old!  I have had some lovely pieces from her over the years.

I loved the colours she chose and her technique is flawless to my eyes. You can zoom in in the pictures to better see the fine detail in her work.  I must get around to photographing some more of her pieces and post them to share with you.  I need to take lessons from Yael and Uri on the best ways to photograph craft.  A Happy Holiday Season to you and may 2011 be full of kindness and love...

~ Penelope ~