Funky Looking Platypuses

platypus_by_motterhorn index

In the freshwater streams of eastern Australia lives an unusual creature, the platypus. Fur like velvet, a beaver like tail, and a soft duskish bill, this odd looking creature can make a curious sight for those who see it for the first time.
Platypuses hunt underwater, where they swim gracefully by paddling with their front webbed feet and steering with their hind feet and beaver like tail. Folds of skin cover their eyes and ears to prevent water from entering.
They scoop up insects and larvae, shellfish, and worms in their bill along with bits of gravel and mud from the ground. Platypuses do not have teeth, so the bits of gravel help them to chew their meal.
Platypuses are the only mammals to lay eggs. Females seal themselves inside there burrows to lay their eggs. A mother typically produces one or two eggs and keeps them warm by holding them between her body and her tail. The eggs hatch in about ten days, but platypus infants are the size of lima beans and totally helpless. Females nurse their young for three to four months until the babies can swim on their own.
These funky looking animals sure are interesting.


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