The Platypus is one of the unique animals in the world. How much do we know about these mammals from Australia? The Platypus is the only egg-laying mammal in the world. It seems that the platypus is multiple animals rolled into one. The platypus has a duckbill, otter feet, and a beaver tail. Luckily, their conservation status is of the least concern when it comes to the threat of extinction. Nevertheless, the platypus is can only be found in one part of the world.
The platypus is the only venomous mammal on the planet according to expasy.org. The males carry spurs on their hind legs, which can cause sever pain to humans. While no human fatalities have been recorded, platypus venom does not respond to morphine as stated by kingsnake.com. The Platypus cannot breathe underwater. However, they can hold their breath for around six minutes at a time.
Scientists have come to believe that the platypus is the only living transitional species that currently exists. Dangerousintersection.org states that the platypus has a mix of reptile and mammal genes. This is a startling discovery since reptiles and mammals have two distinct genomes. Some scientists believe that the platypus still lays eggs. However, the platypus does produce true milk, which is a mammalian trait. When first discovered scientists did not know how to classify the platypus. This is because the platypus displayed mammalian and reptilian traits.
The habitat for the platypus consists of small streams and rivers. While platypus populations have declined in areas around Australia. Some scientists believe declining water quality is the culprit. Not much is known about the lifespan of the platypus. However, it has been recorded that they can live up to 17 years in captivity.
The Platypus is considered nocturnal, but has been seen active during the day. Predators of the platypus include hawks, eagles, snakes, owls, and crocodiles in some parts of Australia. The diet of the platypus changes depending on the season. Teachit.acreekps.vic.edu.au claims that, during the summer, the platypus eats mostly insect larvae. However, during the winter their diet changes to include freshwater shrimp and worms, along with insect larvae.
The Platypus lays only one to three eggs, per year. When the babies are born they are blind and hairless. Even though the mother platypus produces milk she does not have any teats. Instead, platypus.asn.au states that the milk is released by pores in the mothers skins. The young platypus will then lap up the milk as is pools in the mother’s abdomen.
Whether or not these animals are a blast from the past. The platypus is one of the most remarkable animals in the world. Hopefully, by protecting their environment and maintaining water quality they will be around, as long as humans.