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Platypus: characteristics, poison, pups, verse and many other information

Platypus: characteristics, poison, pups, verse and many other information


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The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is one of the very few extant mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to their young. L'platypus, which the Anglo-Saxon world knows as Platypus is originally from Australia and lives a good part of his life in the water, being a semi-aquatic mammal.

Platypus: characteristics

L'platypus it has a decidedly unusual appearance, with a large beak that resembles that of a duck, it has webbed legs (also characteristic of ducks) but also has a long and broad tail, like the one that beavers have.

The body and in particular the tail are covered with hair, similar to what happens in the otter.

L'platypus it's an animal oviparous or that lays eggs, with a reproductive system similar to that of reptiles and birds.

The natural habitat of the platypus consists of streams, rivers or streams. The geographical area in which it is endemic ranges from Tasmania to Queensland up to the high peaks of Australia, being at ease even in cold climates. Since 1971, the platypus has been the emblematic mammal of the Australian state of New South Wales.

The platypus is a skilled swimmer thanks to its four webbed limbs and the tail that it uses exclusively as a "rudder" to change direction. One of its peculiarities is to always swim with closed eyes, relying on the other senses to avoid obstacles.

When the platypus swims underwater, the ears are also "sealed" by special folds of the skin and the nostrils close watertight. In this way, the platypus can dive for a period of about 2 minutes, devoting itself to looking for food.

Platypus: weight and length

The platypus has a weight variable between 0.7 Kg and 2.4 Kg with males larger than females.

Its length in adulthood is instead of about half a meter.

The feeding of the Platypus

L'Platypus feeds on crustaceans, worms, insects and larvae it sucks in with its beak while swimming, often "scraping" the bottom of water courses and also storing small pebbles that are stored together with the food in the cheek pockets. Having no teeth, the pebbles are useful for chewing the meal and digesting it.

The platypus must eat the equivalent of about 20% of its weight every day to take in nutrients capable of providing it with the energy necessary to swim for about 12 hours a day.

The poison of the platypus

Male specimens of the platypus are equipped with a rostrum positioned under the hind legs that it can inject poison with deadly effects on small animals but also for small dogs. The sting, on the other hand, is not lethal to humans even if it causes very intense pain.

The use that male platypus specimens make of this weapon is both defensive and offensive, especially during the mating period.

Egg laying, reproduction of the platypus and baby platypus

As anticipated at the beginning of this article, the platypus is among the few mammals that reproduce laying eggs inside a den that the female digs on dry land but always in the vicinity of streams. L'coupling takes place towards the end of winter or early spring.

Each female produces and hatches one or two eggs which will hatch after about 10 days. When i baby platypus they come out of the eggs are very small and depend entirely on the mother. They will only be able to enter the water after 3 or 4 months of nursing in the den.

L'platypus it is therefore a ovipero mammal.

At birth, the platypus measures only a few cm, as you can see from this image where you always smile at the photographer!

Platypus milk: it has very interesting properties for research

A research team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an independent agency of the Australian Federal Government, supported by scientists from Deakin University found that platypus milk contains a protein with potent antibacterial properties dedicated to protecting its little ones.

The researchers named this protein "Shirley Temple" for its curly shape, which resembles the hair of an American celebrity.

By synthesizing this protein in the laboratory, researchers now hope to develop drugs capable of defeating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one of the most serious potential dangers humanity will face in the coming decades.

The verse of the platypus

The sound of the platypus is similar to that of a hen although it can be more intense in terms of decibels.

You can listen to it in this short video ...

Perry the platypus

A new cartoon character has also been born a couple of years ago to pay tribute to the platypus and its peculiarities.

The character is calledPerry the platypus, known as Agent P (Agent P) or more simply Perry and is one of the characters in the cartoon television series Phineas and Ferb.

Much like Superman - Clark Kent, Perry the platypus apparently leads a quiet life as a domestic platypus with the Flynn-Fletcher family. In fact Perry is also a secret agent who works for the O.W.C.A. (“Organization Without a Cool Acronym” which in Italian would be translated as “Organization Without a Good Acronym”).

His great enemy in his missions is Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (in the Italian edition nicknamed "The king of evil" even though he has very little evil.

Perry the platypus


Video: Octonauts Season 3 The Duck Billed Platypus (June 2022).


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