The platypus or duckbilled platypus, as it’s sometimes called not only has a funny name; this animal is unusual in other ways as well!
For starters, it’s a monotreme one of only two mammals that lays eggs. (The other is an echidna.) Most mammals, like humans, don't lay eggs because they give birth to live young.
In addition to its funny-looking bill, or snout, which helps it dig in the water for food like shrimp, the platypus has a tail like a beaver and webbed feet!
It’s called a semi-aquatic mammal, meaning that it spends lot of time in the water, but it doesn’t live there. The webbed feet help it paddle, and its layer of thick, brown fur keeps it warm!
Here are some other neat facts about the platypus!
- The male platypus is poisonous“”it has a spur on its hind foot with which it stabs its victim, and then injects the poison.
- The platypus is found only in Australia, but it probably gets its name from Greek and Latin words meaning “flat” and “foot.”
- The platypus is often popular as a mascot. It plays a starring role in the animated TV series “Phineas and Ferb” (Perry the Platypus) and was a mascot at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia.
- There doesn't seem to be any one correct way to say “more than one platypus.” Some people just say “platypus” for the plural, while some say “platypuses.” So take your pick!
Sources & links