The platypus (Ornithorhyncus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal native to Australia and Tasmania, and it is known for its odd physiology.It has a beak similar to that of a duck, a tail similar to that of a beaver and legs like those of an otter.It is one of the few venomous mammals in the world.. The platypuses use their lungs for breathing, just like as it is expected of all mammals. At this age, they come out of the burrow and get into the water, where they learn how to swim. But as ungainly and strange as the Platypus may look, it is in fact an incredibly remarkable mammal. A platypus grinds its food with tough pads in its bill; it has no teeth. Its feet are also webbed, just like a duck. NOW PLAYING: Animals Amazing and Interesting Facts about the Platypus, An Strange One in the Animal … Platypuses, however, lay eggs. Males also have a pair of venomous spurs on their hind feet, but they don't use them for traditional attack or defence. The legs of most mammals come from underneath their body structure. The female platypuses take tender care of the young platypuses up to when they around four months old, when they become capable of surviving on their own. Also, like a beaver, they have broad flat tails that aid in swimming. As a carnivorous animal, the platypus can spend up to twelve hours a day, at night, hunting shrimp, crayfish, insect larvae and worms. "These taxa, inhabiting three continents and a diverse array of ecosystems, represent the major lineages of Mammalia." The male of this species has a spur … They can be found in habitats ranging from cold highlands to tropical rainforests. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The eggs develop in the female body for about 28 days before they are laid in a burrow. Interestingly, despite laying eggs, platypuses are mammals. A platypus is a mammal which lays eggs. By John Misachi on February 12 2018 in World Facts. It flaps a beaver-like tail. They are classified as monotreme mammals. Some of its features, having a close resemblance to a duck, brings a bit of confusion. Some people mistakenly classify them as reptiles because they lay egg using their sides, just like reptiles such as snakes and lizards. The platypus is classed as a mammal because it has fur and feeds its young with milk. The platypus is a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying aquatic creature native to Australia. Platypuses are semi-aquatic mammals, so they must live near water sources. In fact, it should be noted that platypuses are not the only existing egg-laying mammals. A platypus is the only mammal with a bill. The platypus is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species appear in the fossil record. Source(s): biologist. All four of their paws are broad and webbed like a beaver’s back paws. Due to this, monotremes such as the platypus often display early mammalian features that are similar to reptilian physiology and thus reflect all mammals’ common evolutionary origin in reptiles. The platypus’s bill is an amazing organ by itself: it is filled with electroreceptors that allow the platypus to navigate underwater without sight. They make up an evolutionary branch separate from the marsupials (e.g., kangaroos, koalas, and wombats) and placental mammals (the most common type of mammal, which includes everything from squirrels to whales to humans). It also has fur, is warm-blooded and breathes through lungs, like other mammals. Along with echidnas, Platypuses are grouped in a separate order of mammals known as monotremes, which are distinguished from all other mammals because they lay eggs. Early naturalists compared the bill of the platypus to that of a duck; however, though similar in basic morphology, the specialized and much softer bill of the platypus does not come from a genetic relationship to birds. One of the reasons behind the platypus’s physiological uniqueness comes from its evolutionary history as a monotreme. Eric Lyons of the Apologetics Press takes us on a fascinating tour of the many unique features of the Platypus, noting… The platypus also glows green under ultraviolet light. Platypus, (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), also called duckbill, a small amphibious Australian mammal noted for its odd combination of primitive features and special adaptations, especially the flat, almost comical bill that early observers thought was that of a duck sewn onto the body of a mammal. The baby platypuses, therefore, do not suck the milk, they lap it from their mother’s body. The burrows of female platypuses are usually larger compared to the burrows of the male platypuses because that is where the female rear their young ones. The vast majority of mammals give live birth to their young; the platypus lays eggs. The platypus, like Superman, is none of the above. The Platypus is a unique Australian species. They do not depend on the temperature fluctuations to determine their body temperatures. In a … An Aboriginal dreamtime story about the platypus (one indigenous name for the animal is Dharragarra) explains its origin as the product of a courtship between a water rat and a duck. The platypus is a remarkable mammal found only in Australia. He is expected to graduate from the University of Chicago in 2022 with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and theater and performance... By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is semiaquatic, and found in eastern Australia, including the island state of Tasmania. Sometimes known as a duck-billed platypus, this curious mammal combines the characteristics of many different species in one. Monotreme mammals lay eggs, and later hatch them as their means of reproduction. They are a species of primitive mammals called monotremes. The dark gray skin on the bill is hairless and moist. Furthermore, platypuses have fur covering their bodies. The platypus is an elusive animal and a lack of long-term monitoring studies has made it difficult to quantify declines in populations. Then, she will lay one or two eggs and place them betwee… Is it a plane? All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. The milk is usually extracted from the pores of their skin, and then later collected on the grooves of their stomachs. Found in Australian fresh water and estuaries, platypuses are small furry mammals with a distinct bill and a wide beaverlike tail. They are classified as monotreme mammals. Grooves along the sides of a platypus’s bill help it filter food from the water. The platypus lives in and near lakes, rivers, and streams in eastern Australia. The classification of the platypus as a mammal—the same group of animals that includes dolphins, elephants, and humans—has not always been self-evident. As long as an animal feeds its young ones with milk from their mammary glands, it is out rightly considered a mammal. After around ten days the eggs are hatched. They have body mechanisms that help them keep their temperatures constant in case the temperatures rise or fall. Answer to: What makes a platypus a mammal? When 18th-century zoologist George Shaw published the first scientific description of a platypus, many of his contemporaries did not believe that the animal was real. The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an unusual mammal.In fact, when its discovery was first reported in 1798, British scientists thought the creature was a hoax made by stitching together parts of other animals. Reminiscent of the classic line from DC Comics, scientists and observers found themselves asking: Is it a bird? By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi- aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Gray skin on the bill is an elusive animal and a lack of long-term monitoring studies made... The platypus’s physiological uniqueness comes from its evolutionary history as a bird species because its mouth closely the. 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