Platypuses only live in eastern Australia. They lay eggs, similar to birds. But once the young have hatched, they feed on their mother’s milk. That is why the platypus is classified as a mammal. However, they do not suck the milk but lick it out of their mother’s fur because she has no teats. Platypuses usually live alone when they have no young. They live and hunt mainly in rivers, but they are also fast on land.
There are more things that are unusual about platypuses. They look similar to a beaver and also have flat tails. They can swim better with it, but it also has fat in it that they’ve eaten. That’s what they live on when they catch little prey. Usually, these are crabs, larvae of insects, and worms.
They also have a duck-like beak that feels a bit like leather. There are webbed feet on the feet, but also poisonous spurs. Some larger birds, one species of fish, and larger rats can otherwise become dangerous to the platypus or its young.
Platypuses mate in the water. About two weeks later, the female usually lays three soft-shelled eggs in her burrow. It incubates the eggs for about ten days, then the naked and blind young hatch. They feed on their mother’s milk. They stay in the burrow for about five months, but even later they still need their mother’s milk. The male does not take care of the young.
What do humans mean to platypuses?
Dead platypuses were first seen in Europe in the 18th century. They had been brought from Australia. In Europe, it was thought that someone was trying to make a joke by sewing parts of different animals together.
Today, people are a problem for platypuses: platypuses fall into traps that are actually intended for fish. They also need very clean water, but this is often polluted by humans. However, platypuses are protected species, so you are not allowed to hunt them.