About The Platypus

Video highlights from Animal Encounters

Did you know? Platypus reproduction is nearly unique. It is one of only two mammals (the echidna is the other) that lay eggs.

Platypus
Scientific name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Facts:    

•    Females produce one to three eggs annually, but usually two. Platypuses are long-lived animals (up to 20 years in the wild).

•    Platypus reproduction is nearly unique. It is one of only two mammals (the echidna is the other) that lay eggs.

•    The adult male Platypus is about 50cm long and the female 43cm long. They can weigh up to 2kg.

•    These Australian mammals are bottom feeders. They scoop up insects and larvae, shellfish, and worms in their bill along with bits of gravel and mud from the bottom. All this material is stored in cheek pouches and, at the surface, mashed for consumption. Platypuses do not have teeth, so the bits of gravel help them to "chew" their meal.

•    The male Platypus has a venomous spur on its back legs. The venom production increases during the breeding season and may be used to fight off rival males.
 

Discuss this article

Newsletter

Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
Submit
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay