FunNature & Animal5 things you didn't know about platypus

5 things you didn't know about platypus

Its scientific name is Ornithorhynchus anatinu s (which means “similar to a duck”) and today we will learn about some of the peculiarities of this animal .

1. Habitat

This strange semi-aquatic mammal is endemic to eastern Australia and the island of Tasmania . Despite its exoticism, it is not considered under immediate threat of extinction.

Platypus live in complex tunnels with multiple galleries (up to 30 meters) that they dig themselves near riverbanks.

2. Morphology

One of its most striking features is its duck bill, except that it is covered in hair.

Its tail is similar to that of beavers. This together with its back legs, partially webbed, make up a perfect system to move through the water.

It has a skeleton more characteristic of reptiles than of its own genus.

It has pockets like some rodents, that is, skin bags located in its mouth that serve to store food -for later-.

Its size is rather small. Males are between 45 and 60 centimeters in length and weigh between 1-2.5 kg. Females are slightly lighter, between 0.7 and 1.6 kg.


3. Poison

This mole, duck, and squirrel mix is poisonous. A poisonous mammal? That’s how it is. Males have spurs on their hind legs that are connected to a poison gland on their thigh. Human poisoning causes extreme swelling and pain so excruciating that not even regular painkillers (not even morphine) can reduce it. Only three types of poisonous mammals are known: platypus, shrews, and solenodons.

4. Reproduction

This missing link that unites mammals, birds and reptiles is one of the five species that instead of giving birth to their young, they lay eggs. The female, after gestating them for 28 days, deposits them and incubates them for no more than 10 days. They usually lay between one and three eggs – which have a sticky substance that keeps them attached.


5. Electrolocation

Platypus used to hunt electrolocation . Thanks to a series of electroreceptors located in rows in the skin of the snout and to mechanoreceptors also distributed by the snout, they are able to perceive the weak electrical impulses that animals produce when they move . The platypus electroreceptor system is the most sensitive of all monotremes and this interesting method suggests that they can also calculate the distance of prey from the difference in arrival time of the two signals. Thus, when they go hunting, they move their heads from one side to the other to detect their prey by comparing the differences in signal intensity and calculating how long it will take them to arrive.

The platypus is one of the most unusual creatures in the animal kingdom as we can see. It is so curious, in fact, that the first time a platypus was brought from Australia to Britain, people could not believe it was a real animal and they thought that a scammer had sewn two animals together.

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