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Platypus (pla-tee-pus)

Playtypus Swimming

Platypus

 

Platypus Emerging from Water

 

Platyps Spur

The Platypus is a funny looking animal. Its got a beak like a duck, a tail like a Beaver, webbed feet and it lays eggs!

It is an egg laying marsupial mammal called a monotreme. It is also called a duck-billed platypus sometimes.

The platypus is about 60 cm (2 ft) long and has thick dark brown fur.

The platypus uses its large flat tail and webbed feet to paddle underwater.

It lives in creeks and streams. It can swim under water for up to 3 minutes at a time. It closes its eyes, ears and nostrils when swimming underwater.

The Platypus builds its nest in a burrow on creek banks with an underwater entrance.

The platypus's beak is called a bill. It is flat and quite soft and rubbery and very sensitive (it looks like its made of plastic). It uses its bill to stir the creek bottoms in search of food. It eats mostly worms, insect larvae and yabbies. It eats its food underwater. It uses its bill to tell it about its surroundings.

The female lays two or three leathery eggs. She curls around them for about three days to incubate them. The platypus doesn’t have teats like other mammals. She secretes milk from special glands under her skin  onto her fur and the baby platypuses lick it from her fur.  

The male platypus also has two very sharp rear claws called spurs. They have poison in them. which can kill a small animal.

The greatest threat to the Platypus are snakes, goannas(large lizard), foxes and of course man.

The plural of "platypus" is not "platypi" as some would expect. It is "platypuses"

DID YOU KNOW

When people in Europe first heard of this strange animal from Australia they though it was too odd.

A beak like a duck?
A mammal laying eggs?

They said it was a hoax,
a

humbug.

Here are some interesting sites about the Platypus

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Platypus: Introduction to an Iconic Mammal

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