Distribution

Modern monotremes, and all but one of the fossil species so far described, are confined to the continent of Australia and the island of New Guinea. The short-beaked echidna is the most common and widespread of the three living species. It occurs throughout Australia and Tasmania and in central and southern New Guinea. The platypus is more restricted— it occurs only in eastern Australia in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. There is an introduced population on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. The long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus spp.) is endemic to New Guinea and is increasingly restricted to remote areas that remain inaccessible to humans.

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