How about enjoying some of the most interesting platypus facts for kids including platypus diet, habitat, and reproduction. The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal native to the eastern Australia. These animals belong to the family of Ornithorhynchidae. Platypus is the only mammal that lay eggs. Another very strange fact about these animals is that they are venomous mammals, the male platypus with the spur on the rear foot is capable to causes humans an intense pain. These unique characteristics make these species an iconic symbol all throughout Australia. Although platypus was subject to extreme hunting, it was protected in its range in the beginning of the 20th century. They are classified as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN as they are not under immediate threats.
Platypus Facts For Kids
- The thick, brown fur on the platypus body and tail keeps the animal warm. This is a waterproof fur and the surface is similar to that of a mole. They usually use their tail to conserve fat reserves which is also practiced by other animals such as Tasmanian devil and fat-tailed sheep.
- Platypus has large webbed feet akin to a duck. They have eyes and ears located in a groove, with the nostrils located on the surface of the snout.
- The weight of a platypus measures around 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 lb), with females being smaller than males. The length of the male averages about 50 cm (20 inches), while females averaging 43 cm (17 inches).
- The typical body temperature of placental mammals is about 37 degree centigrade while platypus has a temperature of 32 degree centigrade.
- Unlike females, the male’s spurs are known to produce a cocktail of venom, although both are born with ankle spurs. Although platypus venom is enough to kill small animals yet the venom is not too dangerous to affect humans.
- They the only mammals that have a sense of electroreception with the help of which they identify prey by detecting electric fields emitted by muscular contractions.
- The average lifespan of platypus is about 17 years in the wild; while in captivity they live up to 11 years.
- Platypus is largely nocturnal but they remain active during the daytime.
- Platypuses are excellent swimmers and they spend most of their time in water searching for food. They remain submerged for about 30 seconds but can last longer than that.
- Platypus is carnivore species and they feed on yabbies, shrimps, annelids, and insect larvae.
- They sleep 14 hours per day perhaps due to the fact they eat crustaceans which contains calories.
Where Do Platypuses Live | Platypus Facts For Kids
Platypus lives in the freshwater marshes, small streams, and rivers of the cold highlands of Australian Alpa and Tasmanian tropical rainforests of coastal Queensland and Cape York Peninsula. These animals have become extinct in South Australia and it longer lives in the Murray-Darling Basin which is perhaps due to the poor water quality.
The platypus is often fall preyed to various potential predators such as owls, eagles, snakes, goannas, hawks, and water rats. The population of platypus is declining possibly due to the predation by crocodiles in northern Australia.
Reproduction | Platypus Facts For Kids
- The breeding season of platypus ranges from June to October.
- It takes 9 years for platypus to mature.
- They make simple ground burrows, the entrance of which measures around 30 cm (12 inches) above the water level.
- The female lays two to three small leathery eggs. These eggs measure around 11 mm (0.43 inches) in diameter.
- The incubation period lasts for about 10 days. It takes 28 days for eggs to develop completely.