Learn Fun Facts About Echidna. The Echidna is an animal so rare and bizarre that most people have never even heard of it. Even more than its odd appearance, what sets the echidna apart is that it's a mammal that lays eggs. This puts it into the order of monotreme, shared by only one other kind of animal: the platypus. The echidna lays about one egg at a time, roughly about once a year, which it houses in a pouch on its belly. The creature's long nose houses an equally long tongue that it uses to lick up ants, while its spines are a defensive feature. Unfortunately, the rarity of the echidna also means that it is an endangered species, and must be protected in order to ensure its survival.