American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Either of two nocturnal, burrowing, egg-laying mammals of the genera Tachyglossus and Zaglossus of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea, having a spiny coat, slender snout, and an extensible sticky tongue used for catching insects. Also called spiny anteater.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ichthyology, a genus of anguilliform fishes: generally accounted a synonym of Muræna. Forster, 1778.
- n. In herpetology, a genus of reptiles: used by Wagler and others for the genus of vipers (Viperidæ) called Bitis by Gray and Cope. Merrem, 1820.
- n. In mammalogy:
- n. The typical genus of the family Echidnidæ, containing the aculeated ant-eater or spiny ant-eater of Australia and Tasmania, E. hystrix or aculeata, and another species, E. lawesi of New Guinea, together with a fossil one, E. oweni. They have 5 toes on each foot; the snout is straight and moderately developed. Tachyglossus is the same, and is the name properly to be used for this genus according to zoological rules of nomenclature, the name Echidna having been preoccupied in another sense, though it has most currency in this sense. See Acanthoglossus, ant-eater.
- n. [lowercase] A species of the genus Echidna or family Echidnidæ. The echidna resembles a large hedgehog, excepting that the spines are much longer, and the snout is long and slender, with a small aperture at the end for the protrusion of the long, flexible, worm-like tongue. The animal is nocturnal, fossorial, and insectivorous, and catches insects with its long, sticky tongue, whence it is known as the porcupine ant-eater. The echidna is closely related to the ornithorhynchus, or duck-billed platypus, and, like it, is oviparous.
- n. A genus of echinoderms.
- n. Any of the four species of small spined monotremes, also known as a spiny anteaters, found in Australia and southern New Guinea.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Gr. Myth.) A monster, half maid and half serpent.
- n. (Zoöl.) A genus of Monotremata found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. They are toothless and covered with spines; -- called also
porcupine ant-eater, and Australian ant-eater.
- n. a burrowing monotreme mammal covered with spines and having a long snout and claws for hunting ants and termites; native to New Guinea
- n. a burrowing monotreme mammal covered with spines and having a long snout and claws for hunting ants and termites; native to Australia
- Through Latin, from Ancient Greek ἔχιδνα (ekhidna). Compare ἐχῖνος (ekhinos, "hedgehog"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin, adder, viper, from Greek ekhidna, from ekhis. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Blast, I fell victim to the platypus ... now my echidna is all chittering in the corner about bread on the table, crumbs in the pantry and freelance websites.”
“The long tubular nose of the echidna is the vital spot.”
“Next in size to the echidna is the white-tipped rat (UROMYS HIRSUTIS?), water-loving, nocturnal in its habits, fierce and destructive.”
“By the blacks the echidna, which is known as "Coombee-yan," is placed on the very top of the list of those dainties which the crafty old men reserve for themselves under awe-inspiring penalties.”
“The fact that hibernators are as numerous and as varied as they are - the club includes some ground squirrels and rodents, at least one bird, various snakes and the echidna which is the platypus's closest living relative, among other species - suggests that the biological machinery that's needed for hibernation is both ancient and widespread in the animal kingdom.”
“Next in size to the echidna is the white-tipped rat (UROMYS”
“True, the bottle of T.C.P. antiseptic (slightly to the right) is a reminder of splinters, stubbed toes, barnacle cuts from the jetty, and minor sailing accidents but fortunately nobody seems ever to have been seriously injured; never to my knowledge bitten by a snake or poisonous spider, and the only local indigenous wildlife I recall are possums, kookaburras, and a lone echidna which put in an appearance in about 1976.”
“Just like an echidna is protected by spines that stick out in all directions, the ECHIDNA instrument shoots out its lasers at every possible angle to map the environment around and above it.”
“April 6th, 2010 at 1: 48 pm dbadass says: trusting fat guys that run around in the woods playing paintball to defend the homeland is like trusting an ardwolf to worm your echidna ….”
“Tachyglossus aculeatus – short-beaked echidna, or spiny anteater, wandering along the edge of the Jordan River, Midlands, Tasmania.”
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