Platypus Are Weird


Source: Alan Couch

“Platypus” by dnatheist is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Allen Chhu, Journalist


Platypuses are weird animals. They seem to have been an inbreeding of several different animals plus a flurry of other weirdness. For example, platypuses are mammals but they lay eggs and they have a giant duck like bill. They also have legs on their side like a reptile rather than on the bottom like a mammal. Platypuses eat small creatures like insects, larva, and crayfish. Platypuses also live in Australia and the plural of platypus is platypuses. The name of platypus babies is often disputed between platypups and puggle but the more official and recognized name is platypups.

Weird things about the Platypus

There are many weird adaptations about the platypus but they all serve a purpose. Here are a few listed below:

  • Male platypuses have a two venomous spur on each of their hind legs ,which is unusual for a mammal, and they use it to defend themselves and fight for mates. The venom in the spurs is strong enough to kill small animals and potent enough to cause intense pain in humans.
  • One of the coolest adaptation is how they have electroreception in their bills. They close their eyes and ears while in the water to keep out any mud and use the electroreception in their bills to pick up electrical signals emitted by prey to locate them.
  • Female platypuses don’t have breasts so they sweat out there milk on their bellies and let their platypups drink it from there.
  • Platypuses don’t have teeth so in order to chew their prey they take gravel from the river and put it in their bills to grind their pray up.
  • The weirdest adaptation is probably the fact that they lay eggs despite being a mammal. Females lay one to two eggs in a breeding season and raises them till their around three to four months old and can swim.