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platypus

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platypus

Platypuses are monotremes. They reproduce by laying and hatching eggs. When the young hatch after 10 days of incubation they feed on their mother's milk for four months. The eggs are only five millimetres long. They inhabit rivers and lakes and are found in the eastern parts of Australia. They are often called the duckbill but unlike a duckbill the platypuses are soft and flexible.

They live in burrows usually dug up to eighteen metres from the riverbank but spend most of their time in the water eating insect larvae, worms and crustaceans. They have a dark brown coat on their back, and are silvery to light brown underside. They can live up to 17 years in captivity.

The male platypus measures 45-60cm without the bill which is another 5-6cm long, the tail is 10-15cm. Its weight is 1 to 2.5kg. The female is somewhat smaller than the male. The male platypus is the only mammal, besides certain shrews, that is venomous. Only the male is able to produce and deliver the poison which can kill a dog and cause agonizing pain to humans, the poisonous spur is located on the back of its hind foot.

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platypus

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An online interactive knowledge test about the platypus. Scores answers with the option of correcting if a mistake was made. Simple true - false quiz which can be played alone or with a friend. Ideal for comprehension testing and reinforcing what was learned.... back to aussie animals main page

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