Fire-Surviving Echidnas Reveal God’s Design

by Ken Ham

In my home country of Australia, there’s a cute little mammal called the echidna. Echidnas, sometimes called spiny anteaters, are monotremes, which means they are mammals that lay eggs (like the more famous platypus of Australia). Well, apparently these little animals excel at surviving fires in our fallen world.


A fire was deliberately started in a nature preserve in Australia to help fire-dependent vegetation grow. Instead of fleeing the fire, as most animals would do, the echidnas stuck around, and nearly all of them survived. Researchers believe it’s likely that they curled up in thick trees or logs and entered a state known as torpor. This allows them to become “inert and chilly,” thus heavily reducing their energy needs and helping them to survive with limited resources. Interestingly, some creation researchers think that perhaps some animals on the Ark entered a torpid state during the voyage, cutting down on the amount of food they would require.

Now evolutionary researchers say that “echidnas are throwbacks to the distant past, making them a useful guide to how ancient mammals survived the giant asteroid strike of 65 million years ago.” Apparently the fire-survival ability of these animals suggests that perhaps ancient mammals went into a state of torpor to survive the dinosaur extinction so they “triumphed to spawn a new kingdom of diverse species.” One scientist admits, “That makes sense. . . . But who . . . knows what happened at the end of the Cretaceous?” And another says, “I don’t know that there’s a way to test this.”

It’s interesting that, in this instance at least, these evolutionists are seemingly admitting that they don’t know what happened in the unobserved past because they weren’t there to observe it! But God, the Creator of the world, was there, and we have His Word that gives us an account of His creation of living things. From the Bible, we know that echidnas aren’t evolutionary throwbacks. Actually, the fossil record shows that echidnas have always been echidnas, thus confirming God’s Word! They didn’t evolve from some unknown monotreme ancestor but are wonderfully designed mammals that represent God’s creativity and design.

The fire-surviving abilities of the echidna are simply one mechanism to help them cope in a fallen world. The amazing design of creation should point us to glorify our Lord and Creator, Jesus Christ.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

Ken Ham’s Daily Email

Email me with Ken’s daily email:

Privacy Policy

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390