The platypus is a fascinating mammal, as it shares traits with both reptiles and mammals. The platypus is one of the few venomous mammals globally and can be found living in rivers and streams throughout eastern Australia. However, that’s not what makes this animal so interesting. What really sets the platypus apart from other creatures on Earth are its physical features–such as its webbed feet, powerful claws, sensitive bill, and streamlined body–its unique reproductive system (it has one of just three types of mammalian reproduction), how it lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young as most mammals do; its fur composed entirely of waterproof hair except for underarms; its ability to electrocute prey through theirs!
Read on for more interesting facts about this amazing creature.
The platypus is actually among the most unusual and funny-looking creatures in the animal kingdom from the family of monotremes. However, a biologist believes that the platypus is the most evolutionary mammal in the modern-day. Besides, the platypus is also a mammal with temperatures about 32˚C, venomous, and lays eggs. Platypuses are native in Australia, and they are extensive in the countries eastern state.
Platypuses live in comprehensive climates and habitats but are primarily dependent on freshwater bodies and river streams. Typically a platypus is about 38 centimeters from its head to the end of the rump. The length of its tail is at least 13 cm. A typical platypus weight varies depending on its location. Platypuses that reside in colder regions are more significant than those living in colder areas.
Nonetheless, its average weight is about 1.4 kilograms. The platypus does not resemble any other animal on earth. Platypus has a paddle-like tail, webbed feet resembling that of the duck, a beaver-like tail, a sleek furry body resembling that of an otter, and their legs do not come from underneath instead from their sides like a reptile. The platypus is a fascinating mammal. The combination of its features is so surprisingly distinctive that the European naturalistic who first encountered it considered it a hoax.
Unlike other mammals, the Platypuses female lays eggs. The male platypuses, on the other hand, are venomous! They have very sharp stingers on their rear feet called ankle spurs that help them deliver toxic blows to their foes. In a real sense, the Platypus venom is strong enough to kill a small animal like a cat or even a dog, don’t fear! However, platypus venom cannot kill humans.
Nonetheless, the venom results in extreme pain that can last for months.
In most cases, the male platypus mainly utilizes venom during mating when competing with females. The platypus bill is quite distinctive. Unlike the ducks, it’s pliable and soft. It is also the platypus’s major sensory organ that it uses to probe in the muddy water bottom, aided by a spectrum of electro-receptors that can detect muscle activity of the prey.
The platypus spends up to 12 hours a day underwater diving for food. Its heavy webbed feet help propel the platypus in the water, and the hind feet are like a rudder allowing to paddle in the water. When in water, skin folds cover both their eyes and ears with a water seal, preventing water from entering their nostrils. Impressively, when walking on land, the platypus feet webbing is retracted back to expose nails that can help it navigate on the ground.
Another curious fact about the platypus is that the female platypus lays eggs covered by a shell that hatches from the mother’s body. After the eggs are laid, the female platypus incubates the eggs for at least ten days, after which the young platypuses are fed with their mother’s milk that is astonishingly released through the pores in the skin.
Altogether, the platypus has been a subject of multiple types of research; a 2008 research paper indicated that platypuses contain both mammalian and reptilian genomes. Since platypus diverged from echidnas millions of years ago, the international union for the Conservation for Nature and Natural Resources highlights that platypuses do not face any imminent danger of extinction. Since platypuses are not facing death at any time, I hope to one day see them when I take a trip to Australia.
In conclusion, the platypus is a fascinating animal adapted to live in the water and on land. It’s also an excellent example of how evolution can work to help animals survive under challenging conditions. Many other species like it out there have evolved similarly as they adapt to their environment. We hope you enjoyed learning about this unique creature!