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Platypus facts

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Platypus venom causes excruciating pain that can last for months on end, which cannot be relieved with conventional painkillers. Not even morphine works against it. The venom causes victims to become nauseated, suffer from cold sweats, and can even cause muscles to waste away.

The German word for "turkey" literally translates to "threatening chicken." Porcupines are "spike pigs," raccoons are "wash bears," and platypuses are "beak animals."

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across. Here are 50 of the best facts about Platypus I managed to collect.

  1. Platypuses don’t have nipples... Despite being mammals and having mammary glands platypuses do not have nipples with which to fed their babies. Instead they release milk through glands like sweat. The milk then gathers in grooves on the mum’s abdomen where the puggles lap it up..

  2. The duck-billed platypus has a gene mix of birds, reptiles and mammals and genetically has 25 possible sexes.

  3. There's a Russian "platypus", the Desman is nearly blind, aquatic and looks like a cross between an anteater, a mole and a river rat.

  4. The University of Oregon (duck mascot) and Oregon State University (beaver mascot) play annually for the Platypus Trophy.

  5. When the platypus was first discovered, European naturalists were so baffled by it's appearance that it was thought to be an elaborate hoax

  6. Platypus will attack hidden batteries in their habitat after sensing their voltage and believing them to be prey.

  7. When George Shaw wrote the first written description of the duck-billed platypus in 1799, he first carefully checked the specimen he had been sent from Australia for signs of stitching as he thought it was a hoax.

  8. The platypus is one of the only living mammals that can produce and secrete venom.

  9. Platypuses and their cousins the Echidna do not have stomachs.

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There are only 2 surviving species of monotremes (mammals that lay eggs), the platypus and the echidna, both of which are only indigenous to small areas of Australia and New Guinea.

There are FIVE egg laying mamals, not just the platypus. - source

When the Platypus was first cataloged and discovered, it was dismissed as a prank by the explorers or a fake animal created by sewing two together, because nobody could believe it existed. - source

A Platypus is one of the few mammals to produce venom.

The Platypus though a mammal, lacks teats. Instead they pool their milk on their stomach through pores and their young lap it up. - source

The female platypus does not have nipples but rather sweats milk out of her abdominal area to feed the young.

The platypus is actually not the only surviving member of its biological family. There is a small hedgehog like spiked ant-eater called a "Echidna" that is the only other surviving member of the same biological order. It is also the only other surviving mammal that lays eggs.

The Platypus secretes milk onto its skin like sweat and it's licked off by it's young.

Platypuses don’t have nipples. Instead, they have “milk patches,” areas of skin that sweat milk. They are one of 5 surviving species of mammals without nipples.

Platypus walks using its knuckles when it is on the ground.

Interesting facts about platypus

The adorable Platypus not only has venom, but uses electric signals to locate objects underwater and has no nipples, using a milk-producing sack to feed young

Platypus is covered with double layer of fur. It provides warmth and prevents water from reaching the skin.

While they may look silly and harmless, platypuses can be dangerous — at least certain ones. The males come equipped with sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet that can add some extra pain to a kick.

The platypus is so weird that scientists thought the first specimen was a hoax

Tail is also used for storing the fats that will be used as a source of energy when the food is scarce. Tail can contain 50% of all body fats.

Spiny crayfish are important source of food for the frogs, fish and platypuses.

Platypus have a single hole for urine, feces, and reproduction

Platypus mainly hunts during the night and it belongs to the group of carnivores (meat-eater). It feeds on shrimps and other small crustaceans, worms, mussels...

Platypus mate during the spring. Female lays between 1 and 3 leathery eggs in a burrow. She keeps the eggs warm with her body and tail. Young platypuses hatch after 10 days.

Platypuses have a sixth-sense; electroreception. It allows them to sense when predators contract their muscles and prepare for an attack.

Even though it is deaf and blind under the water, platypus is able to detect its prey using special type of receptors located on its bill. These receptors are able to recognize small changes in the electric field around living creatures that are moving under the water.

Platypus can reach 1.3 to 1.6 feet in length and 2.2 to 3.3 pounds in weight. Males are slightly larger than females.

Babies are very small (like a lima bean) and completely dependent on their mother for the first couple of months. Unlike other mammals, females do not have nipples. She feeds her babies with milk patches located in the middle of the belly.

Platypus looks odd because it has rubbery bill, webbed feet, long, flat tail and fur.

Platypus rests 17 hours per day in the burrows that are located near the water. Each burrow has two exits/entrances. There are two types of burrows: nursing and camping. Nursing burrows are longer (up to 100 feet long) and usually better protected than camping burrows.

Male platypus have venomous barbs on their hind legs that are powerful enough to paralyze smaller animals, and cause excruciating pain in humans. An Australian soldier was struck by one and described it as being “worse than being struck by shrapnel.”

Males have stingers above the heel of the rear feet. It is used to deliver toxin into the body of a predator. Toxin is able to kill a medium-sized dog and to incapacitate a man.

The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed platypus baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, and the first scientists to examine a preserved platypus body (in 1799) judged it a fake, made of several animals sewn together.

Webbed feet are specific adaptation to the life in the water. Platypus uses its front feet for paddling, and hind feet and tail for steering.

The platypus is so weird that scientists thought the first specimen was a hoax

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