Thursday, 21 January 2010
Photo taken by: Nicole Duplaix Photo from taken from: animals.nationalgeographic.com
Scientific Name: ornithorhynchus anatinus
Fact: A platypus swims with its eyes, ears and nostrils shut. It propels forward with the help of its forefeet. The hind feet are used for the purpose of brakes and steering.
Length (males): 50 cm (20 in)
Length (females): 43 cm (17 in)
Weight: 700 g to 2.4 kg (1.54 to 5.3 lb)
Tail length: 13 cm (5 in)
Life span: Around 12 years
Natural Habitat: Eastern Australia, including Tasmania.
Sexual Maturity: Unknown
Gestation: 1-2 weeks
Number of Eggs: 1-3
Predators: Fox, Snakes and crocodiles
Diet: Insects, Larvae, Water snails and Small crustaceans
Male and female platypus have ankle spurs. However, only males produce a venom. Platypus venom is contained in the males ankle spurs and is thought to increase during the mating season to show dominance. The venom of the platypus is known to kill smaller animals, including dogs. The venom causes excruciating pain and can temporary paralyze humans. Research has attributed the pain to hyperglycemia that is long lasting, extending at times to several months. Platypuses are threatened by fungus Mucor amphibiorum that causes the onslaught of the disease called Mucormycosis. The mammal develops skin lesions on the backs, tails and legs. Death mostly occurs due to secondary infection, since the animal is unable to maintain the required body temperature and feed well.
Endangerment statues: Common but vulnerable
Want to protect them: http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Duck-billed-Platypus.aspx
Posted by jessiegirl