The animal that sleeps through fire.

Megan Lynn Mullins, feature writer

In the bush of Australia wildfires are a constant threat as they test through their surroundings at astounding speeds. Most animals have a natural fear of fire that causes them to flee from the sight or even the smell of the immediate danger. But one small creature known as the short- beaked echidnas has an unique approach to dealing with these roaring flames, they simply do nothing. They go into an inactive state known as torpor which helps them to conserve energy and also reduces their metabolic rate which causes their body temperatures to drop. This trait gives them a knack for surviving bushfires. BBC news source Julia Nowack stated “Lowering their body temperature is connected to a reduction of energy expenditure,” says Nowack. “It enables echidnas to stay inactive for longer and therefore allows them to stay hidden and protected.”
Echidnas usually nest underground or in logs which protects them from direct flame. They also eat creatures that are to usually unharmed by fires such as ants and other creepy crawlers that live underground. BBC news source Julia Nowack stated “Foraging activity during a fire can lead to animals being trapped in burning areas or being hit by falling trees. So staying inactive during a fire is likely to be the safer option.

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