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What's Nyoongar for Norman?
December 16, 2012 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Meet the puggles

Nyingarn (Nyoongar for echidna) and Babbin (Nyoongar for friend) are two recent births in the Perth Zoo's echidna breeding program.

Echidnas are monotremes, mammals that lay eggs. These puggles weighed less than one gram each when they hatched in August and spent their first two months in their mothers’ pouch.

The linked site is unsafe for those allergic to cuteness.
posted by Kerasia (28 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are not the puggles I was looking for. But these are better.
posted by arcticseal at 6:41 PM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The linked site is unsafe for those allergic to cuteness.

This statement is certified accurate.

Perth’s new additions, named Nyingarn (Nyoongar for echidna) and Babbin (Nyoongar for friend), are being housed off-display in the zoo’s echidna breeding area.

Okay. We need two gold bars and a sympathetic zookeeper.
I expect we also need to be very, very quiet.

I has a flavour.
posted by Mezentian at 6:41 PM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


So ugly they're squeee!
posted by BlueHorse at 6:44 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


What was making that noise when I clicked through to that site?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard only the noise of squee and coo.
posted by Mezentian at 6:51 PM on December 16, 2012


Lovecraft baaaabiiiees...
posted by griphus at 6:57 PM on December 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Male echidnas have a four-headed penis.
Well then.
posted by Evernix at 7:01 PM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


As I bit into the nectarine, it had a crisp juiciness about it that was very pleasurable, until I realized it wasn't a nectarine at all, but AN ECHIDNA PUGGLE!
posted by Nomyte at 7:04 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Male echidnas have a four-headed penis.

Someone alert Humon so we can get an anthropomorphized illustration asap.
posted by 445supermag at 7:06 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's an unconventional definition of cuteness you're working with, huh?

They look like a pufferfish mated with a manatee.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:19 PM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ze Frank on baby echidnas. One has to wonder what sort of evolutionary forces were at work (or play?) driving this species.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:43 PM on December 16, 2012


They're so cute because they lack a corpus callosum.
posted by ovvl at 7:59 PM on December 16, 2012


Its a little disturbing that the mothers of these puggles were only 4 years old at the time of the birth, while previously echidnas were thought to only breed after 5 years of age.

Is the Perth Zoo complicit in the recent scourge of adolescent-echidna pregnancies and the shameless sexualization of pubescent puggles? Find out, on the next Maury.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 8:09 PM on December 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


squee! so blobby! They're like spiny hot water bottles!
posted by scruss at 8:29 PM on December 16, 2012


I wondered where the word "puggle" came from. It's not in my OED, although the word "pug" is documented as a term of endearment and there are words like "pogey whale", which is a small breed of whale formerly thought to be an infant. It turns out that the verb "to puggle" ... well, here it is in the words of echidna expert Peggle Peggy Rismiller:
Robyn Williams: Where did the word come from?

Peggy Rismiller: Where did the word come from? Well actually it came from England, it's an old English word. To puggle was to like, clean drains and things like that. There were a lot of English people that went to Australia and became rabbiters and the rabbiters would actually take a stick and they would puggle down a puggle hole and lo and behold, instead of finding a rabbit occasionally they would find this strange little animal and they called it a puggle.
So now you know. The transcripts very interesting: did you know that echidna milk is pink? And that as recently as 2000, they thought that echidnas reached sexual maturity at seven - not five as was recently thought, let alone four? I suppose that in a few more years they'll be born pregnant, like spiky tribbles.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:43 PM on December 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's fascinating, Joe in Australia.
Can anyone beam me down a tribble? Will swap for one of the puggle mums or dads that are wandering around our place (but not a puggle itself, they are far to cutey cute-pie to send where no puggle has been before).
posted by Kerasia at 8:49 PM on December 16, 2012


If you like that, you'll probably also like this long popular article on echidnas that was linked from the transcript. They're amazing animals; there seems to be absolutely nothing about them which is boring or usual.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:57 PM on December 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


They have become my favourite critters. I bumped into one earlier this year and have learned so much since. Enthralling. I cannot get over their life span (45yrs), and the fact they go it alone. They don't partner.
posted by de at 9:25 PM on December 16, 2012


Wow, Joe in Australia, I was just thinking about that. "Wait, how did they get from echidna to puggle?" And I was trying to figure out how to both post that, and then head off the inevitable, "When a mommy echidna loves a daddy echidna very much...."

But you took care of it. No joke defusing required. Thanks!
posted by Malor at 9:30 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Puggle is the word for a baby monotreme, that is, baby echidnas and baby platypusses.

AND OMG how cute are they!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 10:30 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


@PerthZoo on Twitter and the usual social media outlets are pretty good about letting you know when cute animals are being born or just being cute. I know no-one ever heads out west in Oz, but if you do, Perth Zoo is well worth a visit.
posted by harriet vane at 2:21 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know no-one ever heads out west in Oz, but if you do, Perth Zoo is well worth a visit.

And there's also a new stadium*, train line*, hotel and quay*.
Why wouldn't you visit?


(*Concepts - may not exist)
posted by Mezentian at 4:17 AM on December 17, 2012


> I wondered where the word "puggle" came from.

It seems that someone is quite ticked off with the use of the word “puggle” for “baby echidna”. Sadly, said ticked-off person doesn't understand the way that English works, so (for now, at least) a puggle is a juvenile monotreme.
posted by scruss at 6:57 AM on December 17, 2012


“DNA testing of hair samples will be used to determine the sex of the latest additions. It is hoped they are males as the previous six echidnas born at Perth Zoo were all female.”

That seems... unnecessarily technological?
posted by BungaDunga at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2012


That seems... unnecessarily technological?

Do YOU see any obvious genitalia on that thing?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2012


*The stadium exists now! A friend of mine has been in it! Or so he says. Not sure an Instagram photo is proof positive.
posted by harriet vane at 10:10 PM on December 17, 2012


You mean The Arena? Yes, that is indeed a structure that has finally been completed and people use.
But I am talking about the football structure they intend to build right next to Packer's Casino, so he can see all sort of people enter that cesspit.
posted by Mezentian at 11:29 PM on December 17, 2012


Oh *that* stadium. Yeah I'll be old and grey before that's done.
posted by harriet vane at 2:23 AM on December 18, 2012


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