Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interesting facts about Platypus

Classification of Platypus
Binomial Name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Monotremata
Family: Ornithorhynchidae
Genus: Ornithorhynchus
Species: O. anatinus
Length (males): 50 cm (20 in)
Length (females): 43 cm (17 in)
Weight: 700 g to 2.4 kg (1.54 to 5.3 lb)
Tail: 13 cm (5 in)
Age: Around 12 years
Natural Habitat: Eastern Australia, including Tasmania.
Diet: Carnivorous
Gestation Period: Around 28 days
Number of Eggs: 1-3

Interesting facts about Platypus
  1. Has electric sensors in its bill that can detect 0.05 microvolts. Other receptors in the bill are for touch and temperature detection.
  2. The cochlea of the inner ear is coiled only a quarter of a turn. In man, the cochlea is coiled about 2.7 times.
  3. A platypus swims with its eyes, ears and nostrils shut. It propels forward with the help of its forefeet. The hind feet are used for the purpose of brakes and steering.
  4. When a platypus is on land, it turns back the webs on its front feet, in order to reveal broad nails that help it in walking.
  5. A platypus feeds on flies, small shrimps, worms, insect larvae and small aquatic creatures.
  6. Platypuses locate their prey with the help of electric signals from their bodies, with sensors on their bill.
  7. Platypuses mate in the water. However, the female lays the eggs on land, in a breeding burrow up to 20m long.
  8. The female platypus lays 1 to 3 eggs, which she incubates between her abdomen and tail.
  9. Since the female platypus does not have nipples, its young ones suck milk from patches on the abdomen.
  10. A platypus must consume at least one quarter of its body weight each day. This is why; it spends around 12 hrs every day looking for food.
  11. Platypuses have been classified as "near threatened" by IUCN and are named on its Red List. The main reason for this is their susceptibility to water pollution.
  12. Platypus is one of the few venomous mammals. The male platypus can delivers a poison, causing severe pain to humans, through a spur on its hind foot.
  13. Platypuses live near freshwater rivers or lakes and create burrows for shelter and protection.
  14. A platypus has a flat furry tail that stores fats for the winter season. The tail is also used as a rudder for steering.

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