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The Australian Platypus

08 Oct

Hi my friends

Hope you all are ok and looking forward to a great weekend

I want to share with you a bit about one of our unique Australian animals that I have come across numerous times when trout fishing here in Aussie

Now this animal is a bit weird looking

God must have been on the grog when he made it as its a bit of a cross with other animals

It has a ducks bill and a tail like a beaver

So here’s the story of our Platypus

 

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) 

The platypus is found in eastern Australia. They live aside freshwater rivers or lakes, and create burrows for shelter and protection. They are active mainly at night-time hours, and use their webbed feet for swimming. When swimming the platypus has its eyes shut. They swim underwater for 2 minutes, before returning to the surface for oxygen. They can however stay underwater for up to 10 minutes, and due to their natural buoyancy, they need to be underneath another object to do this.

The Platypus has a woolly furred coat and range from 30cm to 45cms in length and the tail about 10 to 15 cms. The woolly furred coat actually has three different layers. The first layer keeps the animal warm, by trapping air, the second layer which provides an insulating coat for the animal, and lastly the third layer of long flat hairs to detect objects close by. These creatures weight on average between 1 to 2.4 kilograms. They have an average lifespan of 12 years.

This lifespan may be shortly diminished, as the platypuses biggest threats are snakes, goannas, rats and foxes. Another big threat to the platypus is man, via waterway pollution or land clearing.

 

Platypuses feed on insect larvae, worms or other freshwater insects. They do so mainly at night, by the use of their bill. They turn up mud on the bottom of the lake or river, and with the help of their electroreceptors located on the bill, find many insects and freshwater insects. They store their findings in special pouches behind their bill, and are consumed upon returning to the surface.

Amazing Fact: Platypuses can consume their own body weight in food in a 24 hour period!

Male platypus are larger than the female. They reproduce by mating which occurs once a year, between June – October. The female lays between 2 – 4 eggs and incubates these for a two week period. When a young platypus is born, they feed from milk from the mother. The mother secretes this milk from large glands under the skin, the young platypus feed from this milk which ends up on the mothers fur.

If you thought this was a cute and cuddly Australian animal, well, you are only half correct. The male platypi have a hollow spur about 15 millimetres in length on the inside of both hind legs. This in turn is connected to a venom gland, and the platypus uses this spur to defend itself against predators. 

Amazing Fact: The male platypus has venom strong enough to can kill a small dog, or cause excruciating pain among humans.

Since only the male platypus has this venomous spur, and the gland peaks during mating season, many suggest it is normally used in aggressive encounters between other male platypus.

A baby platypus is not called a puggle, which seems to be a common misconception. There is no official name for a baby platypus, but a common suggested name is “platy pup”.

Well I hope you enjoyed that little narrative and introduction to one of my favourite animals

A mate of mine was actually stung by one and suffered excruciating pain for many days so I am very wary of them and admire them from a safe distance in the wild

Cheers for now

Keep smiling

Catch ya’s around tha traps

Emu

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10 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

10 responses to “The Australian Platypus

  1. wonkywizard

    August 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Interesting and educational, thanks.

     
    • The Emu

      August 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks for the visit my friend, glad you enjoyed my post.
      Kindest regards
      Aussie Emu aka Aussie Ian

       
  2. Zen and Genki

    May 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    That is one cute platypus!

     
    • The Emu

      May 21, 2012 at 6:09 am

      Hi my friends,hope the start of your week is going well, yes he is a great little platypus
      They are a little weird to look at for tourists but we think they are great and unique to Australia
      Wishing you a great week ahead
      Cheers
      Emu

       
  3. sunflower

    October 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Ian!
    This was a strange animal.
    Yes there are many strange creatures in our “Lord’s pasture.”
    Including man .. 😉

     
  4. suedreamwalker

    October 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Loved the pictures and all the information. I didnt know they had venom in a Spur… We know so little about the World in which we live… Lets hope its habitat is kept so that it can survive and not go extinct like the Dodo,.. another strange looking bird… A bit like old Emu… lol….. Just dont fall into any of those ‘Traps’ you wander around LOL.. 😉

     
  5. prenin

    October 8, 2010 at 1:22 am

    What do you get if you cross a cat with a duck?

    A duck filled fatty puss!!! LoL!!!

    Thanks for the nature report Ian – I heard these creatures delivered a powerful sting, but this is the first time I got the info first-hand!!! 🙂

    Keep up the good work Ian – Australia is FULL of wonders!!! 🙂

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

     
  6. cat

    October 8, 2010 at 12:39 am

    This can’t be real…it just can’t, man…okay…I’ll shut up now…promise…sorry, Ian…

     
  7. cat

    October 8, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I’ll have to do some serious “googeling” about this animal, Ian…OMG…is this for real?…I cannot get over this…

     
  8. cat

    October 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

    OMG…Is this animal for real?…You are pulling my leg right? I’ll have to do some serious “googeling” on this one…

     

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