The Platypus is a truly unique animal. An odd looking creature with brown fur, a ducks bill, four webbed feet and a beaver like tail. They are at home both on land and in the water. Found mostly in eastern parts of Australia, the Platypus is a favourite in Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries alike.
A nocturnal animal meaning they are awake during the night and sleep during the day, they are active swimmers and can stay under water for up to 10 minutes at a time. An amazing feat given they swim with their eyes closed. The platypus ranges from 30 to 45 centimeters long with a 10 to 15 centimeter long tail. They weigh up to 2.5 kilograms, and will live for roughly 12 years.
Platypus survive on freshwater insects and their larvae. They will search for food at night, turning up mud under water with they're bills and then storing their findings in pouches behind their bill which they later consume on land. A Platypus can easily consume their own body weight in food within a 24 hour period.
The Platypus is a egg laying animal, they will lay between 2 and 4 eggs at a time and mate once a year usually between the months of June to October. Once hatched the young Platypus will feed off milk from their mother.
The male Platypus has two spurs inside both its hind legs, this spur releases a venom with enough venom being released to kill an animal the size of a small dog. They will use these spurs to protect themselves from predators.
Threatening the Platypus is the loss of habitat on the eastern side of Australia, as cities and the human population constantly grows. Wildlife Sanctuaries have been trying to restore Platypus numbers in captivity with little success until recently.
Early in 2009 the first Platypus baby was born in captivity at the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary in Victoria. This caused alot of excitement and helped restore faith that the Platypus could in deed have a very bright future.