Learning About THE PLATYPUS

by Valerie Molino

This might surprise most of you, but the platypus does not only exist in the famous children’s TV show, “Phineas and Ferb” (and is definitely not an undercover super agent). The Platypus, also known as the ornithorhynchus anatinus, is mostly found inhabiting eastern Australia.

A full-grown platypus can weigh about 2 kg and measure about 50 cm. This strange-looking species can only be described as a mixture of duck, beaver, and otter. One very important fact to know about this animal is that the male platypus’ rear feet have stingers that are venomous. Therefore, the next time you go to Australia and meet a male platypus (that is if you are able to identify what gender it is) try to avoid their rear feet, just as a precaution!

This mammal is known as a bottom feeder. It gets its nutrition from insects, larvae, shellfish, and worms. However, it does not have any teeth, so they have learned that to chew their food they must also take in mud and gravel from the bottom of the ocean, which allows them to cut or mash their nutrition. Mammals are not meant to lay eggs to reproduce; yet the platypus is one of the two mammals that exist on the earth that does (the other one being the echidna).

Source: environment.nsw.gov.au
Source: environment.nsw.gov.au

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