Echidna, Australia (USNM 236712)

The Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Mammals (http://vertebrates.si.edu/mammals/) houses many monotremes in its scientific collections. 

This specimen, USNM 236712 (http://collections.nmnh.si.edu/search/mammals/?irn=7282368), is a male short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) from Australia. This specimen was collected in 1920 by C. M. Hoy on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. This individual measured a total length of 350 mm, a tail length of 52 mm and a hind tarsus length of 70 mm.

This is a CT scan of the cranium of USNM 236712. These three-dimensional scans are made publicly available through the generous support of the Smithsonian 2.0 Fund, provided from the annual gifts of the Smithsonian National Board to the Secretary to use at his discretion (http://smithsonian20.si.edu/fund.html), and the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

The main goal of this joint initiative between the Human Origins Program and the Division of Mammals is to make the NMNH's scientific collections of our closest living nonhuman primate relatives available in 3D for education and research.