The Platypus

The Platypus is a mammal found in Eastern Australia and Tasmania and is native to Australia. Even today it is still found in small farm ponds and creeks and is protected.

It causes no problems to the small farmers and land holders and is able to live in harmony with them.

In 1799 when the second governor of New South Wales sent the first specimens of the animals back to England it was thought to be a hoax because it was so unbelievable.

It was suspected that someone had sewn a duck bill and a tail on a small animal as a prank. The scientific community of the day examined the animal to certify it was not an elaborate prank.

This is an unusual animal that has the body and fur of an otter a tail like a beaver and a bill like a duck.

They are 40 to 55cm long and weigh 1 to 2 kilograms.



They live on land but hunt underwater eating shrimp, yabbies, insects’ larva and other small water animals.

They use their feet to dislodge rocks uncovering the small food items they are searching for.

Their habitat is fresh water lakes and creeks because they need to live near their food source.

They are one of only two mammals to lay eggs.

The mother digs a burrow usually accessed only by water and then lays one or two eggs which hatch in about 10 days.

The Platypus baby at birth is about the size of a broad bean and is suckled by the mother for 4 months until it can swim and fend for itself.

It is the only venomous mammal in the world with the male having a spur on its hind foot with enough venom to kill a dog and cause serious pain and discomfort to humans.

It is also on the emblem of the Australian state of New South Wales because they are so commonly found there and is on the Australian 20 cent coin.