Do you know the platypus, sometimes known as the duck-billed platypus, does not have a stomach and the bill gives them a sixth sense? Platypus is an interesting mammal with its, scientific name Ornithorhynchus anatinus. This is purely a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal abundant in eastern Australia, including Tasmania.
Platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus profile
In this article, I am going t discuss the Platypus profile, baby, facts, eggs, scientific name Ornithorhynchus anatinus.
The body of the Ornithorhynchus anatinus and the wide, flat tail is covered with thick, brown wool that clings to a layer of indoor air in order to keep the animals warm during all seasons.
The platypus uses its tail to store fat inside the body. Therefore it is also an adaptation to animals such as the Tasmanian devil.
The leg curve is more distinguished in the front legs and folds backward while walking on the ground.
The stretchy snout and lower jaw of the Ornithorhynchus anatinus cover the soft skin, creating the bill so that the animal can smell and take food properly.
The nose plays an important role in the animal. It lies on the surface of the nasal cavity, while the eyes and ears are in a notch set just behind it; The notch is closed during swimming.
The size of the body is significant. The average length of men is 50 cm (20 inches), while the average size of the female from one region to another is 43 cm (17 inches) on average, and this pattern does not seem to adjust according to climate norms.
Ornithorhynchus anatinus weight can range from 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 lbs), while men are older than females to some extent.
Modern platypus youths have three teeth of each maxilla, among them, one is premolar and two molars, and dentary. However, during birth, the teeth are lost.
The adult platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus has heavy pads that help the mammal to move smoothly on the hard ground as well as in hot and cold.
They have small ears that are very sharp to catch sounds, as well as keep the balance of the body.
They have comparatively strong bones, particularly in the legs, so that the animal can run and walk easily. The bone also helps the animal to carry the load of the body.
When not in the water, the platypus leisurely hides in a small, simple resting area, not always on the shore of the river, or close to any water land. They can take rest in the dry root of the tree, or far away from the water.
Platypus sleeps much longer than many other mammals. The average sleeping time of a platypus is said to be 14 hours long per day, probably because it consumes crustaceans that provide high levels of calories.
The average temperature of the body of the platypus is about 12 ° C (90 ° F), but the placental mammals are usually at 37 ° C (99 ° F). Research has shown that it has gradually adapted to harsh environmental conditions.
This is quite an interesting part of the adaptation process.
Double coned Eyes
The platypus has a close affinity with tropical hogfish or northern hemisphere lamprey with its double coned eyes that most mammals do not have at all. With the help of the eyes, platypus can see far beyond.
Platypus is a great swimmer and spends most of his time foraging for food. During swimming, it can be distinguished from other Australian mammals by the absence of visible ears.
Fast Swimmer Ornithorhynchus anatinus
Platypus is a good swimmer compared to many other watery animals. The frontal foot of the platypus operates by swimming with alternating rowing motions which are not common to other mammals.
Although the four feet of the platypus are not webbed like ducks, the back legs are used for steering together with the tail.
The back legs are held tight against the body, and not dominating like the front legs. The back leg pushes the water back to provide additional force and speed for the animal.
They can dive easily for 30 seconds but can last longer, in special cases.
The Ornithorhynchus anatinus is a flesh-eater, a carnivore. For its survival, the platypus mostly depends on anilid worms, freshwater shrimps, freshwater yabbies, crayfish, insects, larvae, shellfish, and worms.
It uses cheek-pouches to carry prey to the surface, where it is eaten.
In order to meet up the required calorie, Platypus needs to eat about at least 20% of its weight every day, which requires spending 12 hours a day looking for food.
Since they don’t have any teeth to bite, Platypuses devour some mud gravel with food, that helps them to “chew” their meal properly before sending it to the gut.
The male platypus can spray venom from its back legs when it’s feared or senses danger from predators or enemies.
Although both male and female platypuses are born with ankle sperm, the only male spurs poison in adulthood. The venom is composed mainly of protein, named Defensin-like Protein (DLP).
Although strong enough to kill a small animal like a dog, the poison is not fatal to humans, yet it’s painful.
Since only males are poisoned during the breeding season and production increases, it can be used as an invasive weapon to claim dominance during this period.
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The platypus species has a single breeding season in the year. Mating takes place between June and October. Platypus exhibits polygamous mating.
The caring for the baby fully taken by the female, the male doesn’t take any part in the process. The female takes the lead.
Females are get matured in their second year, and breeds have yet to be confirmed in animals over the age of nine.
Other than a breeding season, the platypus resides in a common ground burrow, which has an opening of about 30 cm (12 inches) above the water level.
After mating, the female prepares a 20 meters (66 feet) long underground burrow as well as a weave protective wall in order to protect water, cold, water, or any other danger.
The ground is softened by the female with the dead, folded, wet leaves. She also fills the nest with leaves and prepares the bedding at the bottom of the tunnel, by bringing the materials by her curved tail.
The size of the eggs is very small and skinny like the eggs of reptiles. The size of each egg is about 11 mm (0.43 in.) in diameter and is slightly larger than the bird’s eggs.
Eggs are developed in utero for approximately 28 days and the platypus lays 1 to 3 eggs at a time.
External incubation requires more than 10 days when a baby platypus comes our naked, skinny, blind, and helpless.
It is their mother that helps them, feeds milk, and gives protection until the young platypus is get matured enough to swim in the water till 4 months after the hatching.
A platypus is born with teeth, but it drops off at a young age, using horned plates to feed.
The vulnerable young platypus has to be careful in order to avoid predators and grow up independently since adulthood.