Updated: May 17
The Platypus must be one of the weirdest animals out there. First discovered in 1798, British scientists thought they were a hoax created by putting parts of different animals together. From it's duck bill with teeth, to it's webbed feet, and venomous stingers it's definitely an odd animal.
Originating in Australia the Platypus is an introverted individual, preferring solitude to traveling in packs. They're a playful creature who calls freshwater rivers and creeks it's home. Their water resistant fur and webbed feet make it an excellent swimmer. It actually has two layers of fur for insulation and they'll use that fur to trap a layer of air next to their skin to help them remain afloat and dry when underwater. Which is a lot of the time! Platypuses spend about 12 hours underwater a day searching for a meal.
As mentioned previously, did you know they're venomous? But don't worry while their venom is lethal, there are no recorded deaths from platypuses or from platypus stings. Male Platypuses have a hollow spur on each hind leg connected to a venom secreting gland usually used only during mating season.
Electroreception! If you don't know what that means don't worry I didn't either. It's how Platypuses see while underwater in the dark! Like sharks they use electronic impulses to find prey or objects. They usually feed on shrimp, worms, larvae, and shrimp like creatures called yabbies.
They also glow!! Can you believe it! And we don't even know why they glow but they do! When put under UV lights these creatures give off a small bio-fluorescent green/blue and purple glow.
They lay eggs too! Even though it's a mammal the Platypus will lay eggs meaning it's a monotreme animal. They’re one of only five monotreme species left in existence.
In fact it's pretty rare to see a Platypus today. On the endangered species list, the Platypus has lost a lot of it's natural habitat due to prolonged droughts and bush fires, there's not a lot of places left for them today.
Would you like to help? You can "adopt" a Platypus today! Check out the link below!