Rarely seen echidna mating ritual which sees up to 10 male suitors form a ‘train’ and follow around an eligible female for up to six WEEKS before she makes her choice is caught on camera
- Echidna mating train ritual was filmed by Kangaroo Island local Maren Norris
- Several male echidnas will follow a female for several days until one remains
- Female will then reproduce with last male in what’s known as the echidna train
A group of echidnas have been captured on camera performing a very bizarre mating ritual.
In what’s known as the echidna train, as many as ten males follow around a female in one long line for up to six weeks with the last man standing becoming her new mating partner.
The phenomenon is hard to come by but Kangaroo Island local Maren Norris, from South Australia, managed to film a group of the spiny creatures right outside her home.
The adorable videos show five echidnas running through a culvert underneath the street and then back over and across the road multiple times with the female leading the pack.
A group of echidnas have been filmed in a mating ritual known as the ‘echidna train’ in South Australia’s Kangaroo Island
As many as ten males follow a female echidna for several weeks until one last man is standing. The last male left becomes the female’s mating partner
‘The echidna train is usually seen in the winter time but I’ve never seen that many together,’ Ms Norris told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s weird to see the train because echidnas are very shy but these were out in the open and totally unfazed by me.’
Ms Norris who has lived on the South Australian island for the last ten years said she watched the train for about half an hour and saw two male echidnas eventually give up.
‘Once they all give up the last one standing gets the lady,’ she said.
Maren Norris captured the rare phenomenon outside her house on Kangaroo Island
The animals are seen running through a tunnel underneath the road with the female leading the pack
While as many as 11 echidnas can be involved in the train at once, it’s more common for around four to five to be trailing the female.
Some trains can last for more than a month while others may only last a matter of days.
The animals will walk nose to tail and will also rest and forage together during this time.
The Kangaroo Island short-beaked echidna is currently listed as an endangered species.
Some trains can last for more than a month while others may last a matter of days (pictured is one echidna giving up)