‘ Exploring her garden – echidna ’
Echidnas have been around in Australia for 70 million years or more and the oldest fossil known so far is 17 million years. In fact the earlier echidna prototype even managed to survive the gigantic blast from the meteorite which wiped out dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Now that is a neat trick but when you learn about echidnas you find out they are not only very intelligent and highly adaptive but have many secret survival tools at their disposal. That profound flexibility has allowed them to live in and adjust to every ecosystem in Australia from searing desert to snow covered mountains. Their ability to thermoregulate, brilliant hearing, ground vibration sensors in their feet, excellent sense of smell, huge strength with a sturdy skeleton and practically bullet-proof spiny defences have all helped echidnas to survive over such a long, long history. Even moving rocks with the ease of a tiny bulldozer holds no challenge for them.
This little chap appeared down our driveway a couple of months back and I finally got around to completing the pastel painting her visit to my studio warranted. I am pretty chuffed at the result. I hope you all enjoy her too.
Pastel on Colourfix 50 X41 cm.