Exciting Platypus Facts

You may think platypuses are truly bizarre. Truth is, they’re just one of the many fascinating creatures which inhabit our world. We hope to change your mind about them with the following post and fact sheet!

Now for our top interesting facts:

  • first off, the platypus has a Latin name. And it sounds like this: Ormithorhynchus anatinus;
  • the plural form of this animal’s name is “platypuses.” The incorrect form is “platypi.”;
  • the platypus is not a duck, an otter or a beaver. But it does share some of these animals’ features. First of all, it has both the webbed feet and flat beak of a duck. Second: its body is furry and sleek, just like an otter’s. Third: the tail of a platypus is the same as a beaver’s; meaning, it has a shape which resembles that of a paddle;
  • in terms of weight, a platypus is 3 lbs. (1.4 kg) heavy. The size of an adult is 15 inches (38 cm). Its tail makes it longer by 5 inches (13 cm);
  • various platypus fossils have been discovered. According to studies made on them, it’s now known that ancient platypuses could reach 3.3 feet (or 1 meter);platypus
  • the animal’s body is covered in dark-brown fur that is, as mentioned, thick. The underside and the areas near its eyes are of a lighter color. The dense fur protects platypuses from getting cold when they’re underwater. It does another thing, too: the platypus doesn’t get wet thanks to it;
  • the beak is rubbery and its texture is similar to suede. In fact this part of their bodies is flexible, too, and it helps them find food. For this, the platypus picks up mechanical waves and also electrical signals;
  • to find its way underwater, the platypus uses its beak, too;
  • the platypus shares a similar skeleton shape to that of a reptile;
  • the front feet of this mammal were designed for swimming. There’s extra skin on them; this works as an oar. But as soon as the platypus is out of the water, the feet become awkward. As such, it has to use its knuckles to move around;
  • A male platypus is equipped with rear feet that have heels. Each of these heels contains a stinger that’s really sharp. The heel is closely connected to a gland in the body, which secrets venom. If a predator or a rival comes too close, the male will use those stingers. In case a human is stung, she or he will experience great pain; they’ll also have severe swelling;
  • the ears and eyes of this mammal are covered in skin folds. Its nostrils can close with the help of a seal. Each of these features makes it easy for the platypus to swim underwater without drowning or getting water in its eyes;
  • the platypus is also known as a monotreme. This means that it’s a mammal which lays eggs instead of giving birth like other mammals;
  • a platypus lives in these habitats: rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. The eastern and southeastern coasts of Australia are inhabited by many platypuses. The same happens throughout Tasmania;
  • the diet of these interesting creatures is made of meat. Being carnivores, platypuses can only feed on the following: frogs, worms, shellfish, larvae, and insects;baby-platypus
  • they do the hunting underwater; this may take 10-12 hours. As soon as food’s been located, the platypus will use its beak to scoop it up. The food is then kept in its cheek pouches. After that, the platypus comes out of the water and starts eating its prey. The meal is digested via gravel found on the waterbed’s bottom. They use this dirt because there are no teeth inside their mouths;
  • the platypus’s home is made of dirt. It’s called a “burrow” and it’s constructed by the animal itself. This house is made of tunnels that can reach 30 meters in length. Once time has come for a female to lay eggs, she’ll use a tunnel room to seal herself in. The number of eggs she lays: 1-2. Gestation period is 10 days;
  • the offspring will stay close to its mom for 3-4 months and drink the milk she produces. Another interesting fact is that the platypus babies are born with teeth; the latter will fall out after nursing days are over;
  • a platypus is a nocturnal mammal;
  • it’s also solitary;
  • these animals cannot stay more than 30-140 seconds underwater.

The status of platypuses is of “least concern” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Platypuses were hunted in the early 1900s. This happened because of their fur.

Did you like reading our interesting facts and information on platypuses?

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