Harry Potter spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" dominated the box office this weekend, and everyone fell in love with the film's cute beasts. Most of the creatures are just a fantasy, but one beast called the "Niffler" may actually be true to life.
According to one of Rowling's entries on Pottermore, nifflers are long-snouted fluffy animals. They have the capability of burrowing deep into the earth and have an interesting taste for anything glittery. In a report from Mirror UK, scientists said nifflers may actually exist in real life in the form of a short-beaked echinda.
The short-beaked echidna strikes a very uncanny resemblance to the popular "niffler" creature. However, instead of being found in the magical world, echidnas are found in Australia. These animals are known to be some kind of relative to the platypus as it is one of the only mammals in the world which lay eggs. Their coats are made of spines and can look like a cross between a platypus and a hedgehog. They have snouts but have toothless jaws. Just like anteaters, they use their long tongues to catch food from anthills and logs.
Unlike the cute "niffler," however, these echidnas are not burrowers and are commonly found on land like under vegetation and piles of debris. They are also known to be good swimmers as scientists have found that they may have evolved from water creatures from 20 million years ago.
According to reports, these tiny creatures are quite difficult to breed. But there had been three successful births of baby echidnas, called puggles, from the Taronga Zoo on November 18.
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