7 cool things about the platypus

Did you know that a group of platypuses is called a paddle, and baby platypuses are called puggles? Puggles are so adorable and platypuses are kind of cute too. Let’s find out what else is cool about these creatures.

1. Peculiar-looking

The platypus is definitely a strange-looking creature, especially when you see an image of him for the first time. He has a bill that looks similar to a duck’s bill, and a tail that resembles a beaver’s tail. Instead of feathers or scales, his body is covered in fur. And, if that isn’t weird enough, he has poisonous spurs that look like nails on his ankles.

2. Mixture of animals

It is no wonder that British scientists thought they were being pranked when they received a specimen of the platypus from Australia in the late 18th Century. They thought that parts of different animals had been sewn together.

At the beginning of this century, scientists discovered that the platypus’s DNA contains lineages from birds, reptiles and mammals. So, the platypus is indeed a ‘cocktail’ of various animals.

3. Toothless

The platypus is a carnivore, which means he only eats meat. But, what is interesting, is that he doesn’t have teeth to chew his food, like other predators do. First, he finds his food at the bottom of the river with his sensitive beak, then he moves to the surface of the water and uses the gravel that he scooped up with his prey to ‘chew’ his food into smaller pieces, so that he can swallow it.

4. No stomachs

Does the platypus get any weirder? Yes, if you take into consideration that he doesn’t have a stomach like most mammals do. This weird creature has glands that help him to digest his food.

5. Fast asleep

The platypus sleeps for most of the day, and hunts from early evening until early morning. He sleeps, on average, for around 14 hours a day, in burrows close to the water.

6. Water babies

When you look at the platypus’s feet, you can see that he is definitely made for living in the water. When he’s not sleeping, he is in the water looking for food. His feet and fur are adapted to life in the water. He can live out of the water, but his webbed feet make it difficult for him to move around on dry land.

7. Home, sweet home

You can find him in rivers, lagoons and streams, mainly in Tasmania and the wet regions of eastern Australia.

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