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Biological Essay – The Platypus

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The Platypus

Platypus- a semi-aquatic mammal that lives in Eastern Australia. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five nearly extinct species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. A platypus is a mixture of a duck, beaver, and otter. The platypus is among nature’s most unique animals. The first scientists to examine a platypus thought somebody was playing a joke on them. The animal is best described as a mash-up of the duck (bill and webbed feet), beaver (tail), and otter (body and fur).

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Males are also venomous. They have sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet and can use them to poison enemies.

Platypuses hunt underwater, where they swim gracefully by paddling with their front webbed feet and steering with their hind feet and beaver-like tail. Folds of skin cover their eyes and ears to prevent water from entering, and the nostrils close with a watertight seal.

In this posture, a platypus can remain submerged for a minute or two and employ its sensitive bill to find food.

On land, platypuses move a bit more awkwardly. However, the webbing on their feet retracts to expose individual nails and allow the creatures to run. Platypuses use their nails and feet to construct dirt burrows at the water’s edge.

Females seal themselves inside one of the burrow’s chambers to lay their eggs. A mother typically produces one or two eggs and keeps them warm by holding them between her body and her tail. The eggs hatch in about ten days, but platypus infants are the size of Lima beans and totally helpless. Females nurse their young for three to four months until the babies can swim on their own.

Cite this Biological Essay – The Platypus

Biological Essay – The Platypus. (2016, Nov 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/biological-essay-the-platypus/

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