This particular Echidna lived during the Upper Pleistocene era which was millions of years long and ended just over twenty thousand years ago. It was about a metre long, apparently the size of a sheep. How marvellous! A giant echidna! What were they thinking?

The Giant Sheepchidna
The Giant Sheepchidna

The Upper Pleistocene era in Australia is characterised by a cornucopia of gigantic mammals and reptiles and big XXXXXXL stuff like birds running about. Perhaps Rural And Regional Australia’s predilection for “Big” things (Big Merino, Big Prawn, Big Latte) is a subconscious psychic hangover from this time. Or not.

I am keen on this particular beast because whenever Julia Gillard’s boyfriend Tim Mathieson appears in one of my cartoons his role is played by Zaglossus hacketti. (Tim was asked but was not available) (Alright, he wasn’t asked, having a giant prehistoric echidna play the deputy prime minister’s hairdresser boyfriend is much funnier than getting the actual human to do it. A human who I would draw as a dog anyway.)

To continue…

As the subject of today’s post, Zaglossus hacketti is proving enormously tricky to track down. On the internet anyway.

Wikipedia says…

This species is known only from a few bones. At a metre long, it was huge for an echidna and for monotremes in general.

And Museumvictoria says…

Zaglossus hacketti, a sheep-sized echidna whose remains were discovered in Mammoth Cave in Western
Australia, was probably the largest monotreme ever.

And that is about it. The only known example, found  It doesn’t even look very different, just like a regular echidna except bigger.

Not even anything on the mysterious “Echidna train” (more on that later).

If anyone knows the whereabouts of an example of this particular beastie, or has any other information, or has a hairdresser boyfriend who is also an echidna megafauna paleontology expert. Please let me know. I mean, someone found it, someone named it.

Can anyone dish the dirt on Zaglossus hacketti?

Here are bits of the cartoons I drew that include a giant Echidna as Tim Mathieson.

Julia's Hair
Julia's Hair

And there might have been another one but I can’t find it. It will turn up. Be patient, it has been waiting thousands of years.

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