The Strangest Animal in the World
The platypus has several distinct features that look like other aquatic animals such as:
- duck bill
- webbed feet
- beaver tail
- otter body and fur
- brown, grey, or black fur color
Getting and Eating their Food
The platypus has a very unique method of finding fish in the water. They use electroreception to sense the electric fields that their prey produces. Very few mammals use electroreception and some species of sharks also use this to find prey.
Social Interactions and Mating
The female will typically burrow a nest very deep and uses wet leaves for bedding. Then she lays her eggs. The platypus is one of the few mammals to lay eggs. She will lay 1-2 eggs per litter. After ten days the babies are born very vulnerable, hairless, blind and the size of a lima bean. The mother nurses them for 3-4 months before they can learn to swim on their own.
When it isn't mating season, a platypus burrow is only 30 cm deep.
- They can grow between 15-24 inches
- They weigh1.5-5.3 lbs.
- They cannot live in polluted water, so water contamination is harming their habitat
- They live 15-20 years
- The males have a venomous spike on their back foot
- When underwater, their nostrils close to keep out the water
- Folds of skin cover their eyes and ears to prevent water from entering
- Platypuses can stay submerged for 1-2 minutes at a time
- Their predators include foxes, snakes, and crocodiles
- The males defend themselves with their venomous spikes
- In order to feed her babies, the mother will excrete milk from her skin