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Platypus

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Platypus Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Monotremata
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Ornithorhynchidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Ornithorhynchus
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Ornithorhynchus Anatinus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
40-60cm (15.7-23.6in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
0.7-2.4kg (1.5-5.3lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
35km/h (22mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
15-20 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Grey, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Fur
Favourite Food:Shrimp
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Freshwater creeks, rivers and lakes
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
2
Main Prey:Shrimp, Insects, Fish Eggs
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Fox, Snakes, Crocodile
Special Features:Broad, flat beak and venomous spike on the back foot of males

Platypus Location

Map of Platypus Locations
Map of Oceania

Platypus

The platypus, specifically the Duck-Billed Platypus, is indigenous to eastern Australia and Tasmania, with the platypus being one of the only mammals that lays eggs (the only other mammal that does lay eggs is the echidna) as mammals generally give birth to live young.

The platypus is known to have extremely weird characteristics such as egg-laying, otter-footed, duck-billed and beaver-tailed. The platypus also has webbed feet similar to an aquatic bird like a duck so it is no wonder than when the first European encountered the platypus, no-one would believe them about the animal they had seen.

The male platypus has a venomous spike on their back foot which contains enough poison that could cause severe pains to a human. This venomous spike is vital in the self defense of the platypus and it is believed that the venom amount increases during the breeding season, so it is also used to exert dominance. The male platypus is normally bigger than the female platypus, with the female platypus weighing an average of 1,200g.

Platypus spend most of their time in the water, eating fish but the platypus does come onto land quite often. Platypus are one of the only mammals to locate their prey using electroreception, which means that the platypus often detects prey by the electric fields that the prey produces.

The platypus is a semi-aquatic animal and can be found inhabiting streams and rivers in the colder highlands of Australia and Tasmania, as well as tropical rainforests. The platypus is prey to many predators including foxes and snakes and there are known to be only small numbers of platypus found in the North of Australia, possibly due to the number of crocodiles that inhabit the area.

The breeding season of the platypus is between the winter months (the Australian winter that is) if June and October. The female makes her burrow deeper and fills it with wet leaves to provide bedding. The female platypus lays an average of two, leathery eggs which hatch in about a month. The platypus babies are born blind and hairless and therefore extremely vulnerable.

When it is not the mating season, the platypus lives in burrows that are about 30 cm deep, and they spend about 12 hours a day hunting in the water. The platypus species is under threat as the platypus is very susceptible to dirty water, and increased levels of pollution do not help them at all.

Platypus Comments

Eli
"platipie are amazing!!!"
Kate
"I KNOW RIGHT???!!!!"
Cameron
"WHY ARE MALE PLATYPUSES VENOMOUS???!!!"
Ben
"The platypus is my favourite monotreme and animal"
madison rogers
"they are kinda cute"
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]

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