Where does the platypus live, and what kind of animal is it?

This is a very rare animal, which is a representative of an unusual Australian fauna. Refers to oviparous mammals, the Latin name Ornithorhynchus anatinus.

Together with the tail, his body reaches a length of 55 cm, of which 25 is the tail. An adult platypus weighs about 2 kg. Male platypuses, like most animal species, are much larger than females.

Outwardly, the platypus is somewhat reminiscent of a beaver, especially its large tail. But it is strikingly distinguished from all other animals by the presence of an unusual soft beak, which is covered with elastic skin. It was thanks to him that the platypus got its name. Its five-finger paws serve well both for swimming and for digging the soil. In the process of swimming, the platypuses primarily use their forepaws, on which there are characteristic membranes.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus).

The platypus leads an active lifestyle at night, spends a lot of time in the water. For living, he selects places on the banks of small rivers and lakes in eastern Australia. The mating season falls on August-November. Interestingly, on the eve of this period, the platypuses hibernate, which lasts from 5 to 10 days. Mating, which is preceded by a long ritual of courtship, occurs in water. Male duckbill polygamous.

As established, in captivity, platypuses can live on average 10 years. But what is the duration of their life in natural conditions, science is not yet known. In the past, these unusual animals were the object of interest for hunters who were attracted by the valuable and unique fur of these animals. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Australian government issued a decree that prohibited the hunting of them.

The platypus is a mammal with a duck beak.

And although at the moment these unique animals are not threatened with extinction, environmental pollution and the development of previously sparsely populated territories of Australia cannot but have a negative effect on the platypus population. Unfortunately, their number is gradually decreasing.

The platypus is an Australian animal.

To prevent this process, special reserves were created in Australia, in which everything was created for the safe residence of platypuses. The most famous of these are West Burley and Hillsville.

Another remarkable feature of these animals is that males have poisonous spurs on their hind legs. They contain poison, which can cause severe pain in humans, and a medium-sized animal, such as a dog, can kill at all. The platypus belongs to mammals, the main sign of which is the presence of mammary glands. But the platypus differs from ordinary mammals in that they do not have nipples, and instead there are glandular areas of the skin through the pores of which milk is released, which they feed their cubs. Moreover, the milk of the platypus contains a large amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

The platypus males do not bother themselves with loyalty to one partner, nature has created them polygamous.

Typically, the female lays two to three leathery eggs with a large yolk and soft shell. The place of masonry becomes a deep hole. Small platypuses hatch after 10 days. They feed, as mentioned above, on milk, which is secreted by the modified sweat glands of the female. Due to the absence of nipples, milk simply flows down the animal’s hair, and the babies lick it from it. Another unique property of platypuses is the presence of 10 sex chromosomes, although all other animals and humans have only two. Probably everyone knows that a person’s gender depends on a combination of X and Y chromosomes. When XX is combined, a girl is born, XY is a boy. Sex is similarly determined in birds, but their chromosomes are called Z and W. But the platypus has a much more complex combination: in males, the combination of chromosomes looks like XYXYXYXYXY, and in females - XXXXXXXXXX. This is a unique phenomenon in the entire animal world.

Platypuses are the rarest animals requiring protection.

The platypus combines the characteristics of many animals. For example, with its beak it can be compared with a duck, wool with a bear, tail with beavers, and webbed feet with an otter. Evolutionary scientists still cannot agree on the origin of this animal species, but one thing is for sure - this is a unique creation of nature, which is different from all other species living on Earth.


Watch the video: Platypus Facts (February 2020).

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