Another Aussie Icon
These aren't so very rare - but they are shy and secretive; the short-beaked echidna or spiny ant-eater (Tachyglossus aculeatus). We rarely see them, so when we do it's a real treat.
They are an egg-laying mammals, or monotremes. The 4 species of echidna and the platypus are the only examples of egg laying mammals in the world.
There's a ton of information about them in Wikipedia, if you are interested.
Totally harmless, although I wouldn't fancy being spiked by one of those spines. If I was silly enough to threaten it, it would simply roll itself into a ball, or desperately try and dig its way out of trouble. But who would try and harm one of these iconic Australian animals? Not me that's for sure.
There's a slightly different view in extras.