All about the Platypus

The platypus is a duck billed mammal with webbed feet and is covered in short thick waterproof fur.

It can only be found living in rivers, streams, and lakes on the eastern coast of Australia, (not counting zoos of course).

It is about half the size of a common house cat, and lives about 10 to 15 years.

It is one of only five species of mammals that lay eggs instead of birthing live young.

The platypus is known as a loner, and doesnít live with family. It is unknown how territorial these animals are but it does not appear they fight over their areas, its the responsibility of the younger to move on.

They are very shy animals and run away to avoid trouble, but the males will fight other males who are competing for the same female.

The tail is made up of fatty cells for storing energy. Their bodies use this for energy during times when food is scarce.

They also have sharp nails used for digging, and the male has a short spur on the ankle which is poisonous only during mating season.

Platypus lives in dens they burrow in the ground. There are two types of burrows, the dwelling burrow and the nesting burrow.

They have no teeth. They use grinding pads to grind their food until they can eat it.

The platypus spends about half of a day eating. They eat invertebrates, small fish, fish eggs, frogs, and tadpoles.

The platypus detects itís prey by sensing its body electricity.

They are primarily nocturnal.

The male and female platypus avoid each other at all times, except during mating season. Mating is initiated by the female.

The image of the platypus can be found on the back of the Australian 20 cent coin.

[Home] [The Platypus] [Photo Gallery] [FAQ] [About]