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The Echidna (or Spiny Ant-eater)

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The echidna and the platypus belong to a group of egg-laying mammals - Prototheria. Called mammals because they have mammary glands for the sustenance of the young, they also exhibit reptilian characteristics.

The film, designed principally for zoology students, shows echidnas in the field and in the laboratory - their feeding behaviour and the suckling of the young. An animated sequence, explaining how the fertilised egg develops, is followed by actual film of the egg in the pouch and the young at various stages of development.

Produced in 1969.

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00:01:08 | Title over shots of Echidna walking through grass
00:01:43 | Map of Australia & PNG showing distribution of Echidna
00:02:21 | CU of various external features of Echidna, spines, ears
00:03:17 | Comparative anatomy of Echidna skeleton
00:04:02 | Naturalist unearthing Echidna
00:04:47 | Kangaroo Island Echidna prising open log
00:05:07 | Kangaroo Island Echidna foraging in bush litter
00:07:06 | Meat - ant mound being broken open by Echidna
00:07:50 | Spinifex country as Echidna habitat
00:08:26 | Naturalist digging out Collett's Echidna and holding up by rear feet
00:09:50 | Echidna droppings collected and examined under microscope
00:10:16 | Termites being prepared for Echidna food in laboratory
00:10:41 | Echidna in metabolism cage
00:11:01 | Graph illustrating Echidna nutrition
00:11:33 | CU high-speed shot of Echidna eating ants, long tongue
00:12:38 | Preserved specimens of Echidna a tongue and palate
00:12:57 | Graph illustrating Echidna seasonal fertility
00:13:17 | Microscopic photographs of Echidna testes
00:13:30 | Echidna spermatozoa
00:13:54 | Diagrams of female Echidna reproductive system
00:16:11 | Researchers handling female Echidna, CU of egg in pouch
00:16:52 | New-born Echidna in pouch after hatching from egg
00:16:59 | CU new-born Echidna
00:17:09 | CU new-born marsupial in pouch
00:17:25 | Cross-section of 1 day old echidna's head
00:17:43 | Adult female held up to examine 35 day old Echidna young in pouch, milk patches of adult displayed
00:18:32 | Naturalist extracts Echidna baby from burrow, puggle examined and weighed, young returned to burrow
00:19:42 | Graph of Echidna weight gain
00:19:56 | Examination of Echidna milk secretion system, milk analysed, microscopic views of milk glands
00:21:15 | Graph comparing crude lipid content between echidna, dolphin and man
00:21:32 | Gas chromatography analysis of Echidna milk
00:22:14 | Various shots of Echidnas and summary of features, kangaroo, fox
00:24:22 | End credits
00:24:36 | End