[Blog Post] Australian Animal Facts – The Platypus

[Blog Post] Australian Animal Facts – The Platypus

One of the most unique native animals from Australia is the platypus and here we have a list of fun and informative facts about the platypus – we hope you find them interesting.

  1. The platypus is one of the few venomous mammals.
  2. It’s also a monotreme which means it lays eggs when producing it’s offspring.
  3. The male platypus has a spur on it’s hind legs which contains venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The female has a spur but it does not produce venom.
  4. The platypus has been used as a mascot at sporting events and also appears on the 20c coin in Australia. The platypus was one of the mascots at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in Australia along with an echidna and kookaburra.
  5. In the past, the platypus was hunted for it’s fur but that stopped in the 20th century.
  6. There is only one species of platypus but it was called many things in the past by British settlers including: watermole, duckbill, duckmole. Often it’s referred to as the duck-billed platypus.
  7. The platypus is covered in dense brown fur that traps a layer of insulating air and keeps the animal warm.
  8. The platypus has webbed feet (to aid with swimming) and a bill that resembles a duck bill.
  9. The platypus uses it’s tail for storage of fat reserves and the weight of the animal can be between 700 grams to 2.4kg – quite a variation in size.
  10. It’s semi-aquatic and inhabits small streams and rivers over a wide distance from Tasmania to Qld – it’s actual distribution is not fully known.
  11. When the first settlers found the platypus and sent sketches and a pelt to scientists back in Britain they thought it must be a hoax or a mocked up animal – they even checked whether several other animals had been stitched together to make it.
  12. Natural predators of the platypus include snakes, crocodiles, water rats, goannas, hawks, owls and eagles.
  13. The platypus is often nocturnal, but not always, if the sky is overcast they may come out during the day – they seem to be shy creatures.
  14. It was once said that the platypus is proof that God has a sense of humour.

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