Platypus Facts

Platypus Facts
Platypus is one of the strangest mammals that look like a weird combination of duck, beaver and otter. This animal can be found in the Eastern Australia and Tasmania. Platypus lives near and in the freshwater lakes and streams. In the 19th century, platypuses were hunted because of the fur. Luckily, number of platypuses was not severely affected and this animal is not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Platypus Facts:
Platypus can reach 1.3 to 1.6 feet in length and 2.2 to 3.3 pounds in weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Platypus looks odd because it has rubbery bill, webbed feet, long, flat tail and fur.
Males have stingers above the heel of the rear feet. It is used to deliver toxin into the body of a predator. Toxin is able to kill a medium-sized dog and to incapacitate a man.
Platypus is covered with double layer of fur. It provides warmth and prevents water from reaching the skin.
Webbed feet are specific adaptation to the life in the water. Platypus uses its front feet for paddling, and hind feet and tail for steering.
Tail is also used for storing the fats that will be used as a source of energy when the food is scarce. Tail can contain 50% of all body fats.
Platypus closes its eyes, ears and nose during diving. It can spend two minutes under the water.
Even though it is deaf and blind under the water, platypus is able to detect its prey using special type of receptors located on its bill. These receptors are able to recognize small changes in the electric field around living creatures that are moving under the water.
Platypus mainly hunts during the night and it belongs to the group of carnivores (meat-eater). It feeds on shrimps and other small crustaceans, worms, mussels...
Since platypus does not have teeth, it grinds food using the gravel and the pads in its bill.
Platypus walks using its knuckles when it is on the ground.
Platypus rests 17 hours per day in the burrows that are located near the water. Each burrow has two exits/entrances. There are two types of burrows: nursing and camping. Nursing burrows are longer (up to 100 feet long) and usually better protected than camping burrows.
Platypus mate during the spring. Female lays between 1 and 3 leathery eggs in a burrow. She keeps the eggs warm with her body and tail. Young platypuses hatch after 10 days.
Babies are very small (like a lima bean) and completely dependent on their mother for the first couple of months. Unlike other mammals, females do not have nipples. She feeds her babies with milk patches located in the middle of the belly.
Average lifespan of platypus is 6 years in the wild and between 10 and 15 in captivity.

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