ICYMI, Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released this week, introducing a bunch of magical creatures, including Niffler.
Niffler is a cute thief obsessed with shiny treasure who steals the movie. "Fluffy, black, and long-snouted, this burrowing creature has a predilection for anything glittery," wrote J.K. Rowling, in the book the film is based on.
Also this week, Sydney's Taronga Zoo celebrated its first short-beaked echidna births in 29 years, with keepers revealing three healthy echidna puggles.
And people immediately made the connection.
Was J.K. Rowling's beastie inspired by a baby echidna?
Or are they actually the same thing?!
Echidnas are one of only two Australian mammals that lay eggs (platypus are the others). The baby puggle hatches after 10 days and is carried around by its mother in a pouch until it starts to grow spikes: then it lives in an underground nursery burrow, where its mother feeds its every three days.
According to J.K. Rowling, "Nifflers live in lairs up to twenty feet below the surface." LIKE ECHIDNAS 😲.
What do you reckon?
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