Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Brown, Grey, Black|
The protective layer of the animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Freshwater creeks, rivers and lakes|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
|Main Prey:||Shrimp, Insects, Fish Eggs|
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|
Map of Oceania
PlatypusThe 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.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]
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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]