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Platypus lays eggs? How do platypus breed? Interesting facts about platypuses

The Platypus is an amazing animal that lives only in Australia, on the island of Tasmania. An unusual miracle refers to a mammal, but, unlike other animals, it lays eggs like an ordinary bird. Platypus belongs to the oviparous mammals - a rare species of animals that have survived only on the Australian continent.

History of the discovery

Strange creatures can boast of an unusual history of their discovery. The first description of the platypus was given by Australian pioneers in the early 18th century. For a long time, science did not recognize the existence of platypus and considered mentioning them as an inept joke of Australian residents. Finally, at the end of the 18th century, scientists from the British University received from Australia a parcel with a fur of an unknown beaver like a beaver, with paws like an otter, and with a nose like an ordinary domestic duck. Such a beak looked so ridiculous that scientists even shaved the fur on the muzzle, considering that the Australian jokers sewed the duck's nose to the beaver's skin. Not finding any stitches or traces of glue, the pundits just spread their hands. No one could understand where he lived or how the platypus multiplies. Only a few years later, in 1799, the British naturalist J. Shaw proved the existence of this miracle and gave the first detailed description of the creature, which was later called the platypus. Photo of the poultry can only be done in Australia, because this is the only continent on which these exotic animals currently live.


The appearance of platypuses dates back to those distant times when there were no modern continents. All land was united in one huge continent - Gondwana. It was then, 110 million years ago, platypus appeared in terrestrial ecosystems, taking the place of recently extinct dinosaurs. Migrating, platypuses settled throughout the continent, and after the dissolution of Gondwana remained to live on a large stretch of the ex-continent, which was later named Australia. Thanks to the isolated location of their homeland, the animals preserved their original appearance even after millions of years. Different types of platypuses in their time inhabited the expanses of the entire land, but up to the present time only one species of these animals has reached.


For a quarter of a century the leading minds of Europe have been puzzling over how to classify an overseas beast. Particular difficulty was caused by the fact that the creature had a lot of signs that are found in birds, animals, and amphibians.

All stocks of fat platypus saves in the tail, and not under the coat on the trunk. Therefore, the tail of the beast is solid, heavy, able not only to stabilize the movement of the platypus in the water, but also serves as an excellent defense. The weight of the animal fluctuates around one and a half to two kilograms with a length of half a meter. Compare with a domestic cat, which at the same dimensions weighs much more. There are no nipples in animals, although they produce milk. The temperature of the poultry is reduced, barely reaches 32 degrees Celsius. This is much lower than the body temperature of birds and mammals. Among other things, the platypus has one more striking in the literal sense of the feature. These animals can hit with poison, which makes them quite dangerous opponents. Like almost all reptiles, the platypus lays eggs. Rodnit platypus with snakes and lizards and the ability to produce poison, and the location of limbs, as in amphibians. The gait of the platypus is amazing. He moves around, bending his body like a reptile. After all, his paws do not grow from below the trunk, like in birds or animals. The limbs of this bird, or the beast, are located on the sides of the body, like lizards, crocodiles or lizards. High on the head of the animal are the eyes and ear holes. They can be found in depressions located on each side of the head. The ears are absent, during diving, it closes the eyes and ears with a special cutaneous fold.

Despite the fact that the platypus lays eggs like a bird, moves like a reptile, and dives like a beaver, the basis for classifying the scientists recognized the milk that the animals feed their young. And then they came to the final conclusion. The platypus is a mammal, one-pass, egg-laying, lives and reproduces only on the Australian continent. In the scientific classification was called Ornithorhynchus anatinus. In many years of controversy, the point was put.


Australia - the only continent on the shores of which lives the platypus. Where this animal dwells, one can guess if one simply looks at its flat tail and paws with membranes. Twilight shores, swamps and swamps of Eastern Australia are a paradise for platypuses. Their whole life cycle is connected with water. Live poultry in long holes located on the banks of rivers. Any dwelling of the platypus has two exits, one of which is necessarily under water. Nora has a length of several meters and ends with a nest camera. Platypus clogs the outlets from the burrows of the ground to retain moisture and to protect against the penetration of predators.


Unusual animals feed on small river inhabitants. For hunting these animals use their miracle-nose. Despite the external similarity, this organ is arranged in a different way from the animal than a solid bird's beak. The nose of the animal is formed with the help of two bones in the form of an arc. These bones are thin and long, and it is on them stretched naked, like rubber, leather platypus. With the nose, the animal plows the river bottom in search of food. The front paws are a universal organ, maximally adapted to the life cycle of the animal. Between the toes on the forelimbs there are membranes with which the platypus deftly and quickly moves under water. Will squeeze the finger of the finger - outwardly there are claws, which are convenient to plow the river ground or dig a burrow in the mating season. Hind legs much weaker than the forelegs. They use the platypus as a rudder when traveling in water. Stabilizer of movement during swimming and diving is a flat tail. Grabet zverek paws, wriggling in the water with the whole body. By land it moves slowly, can only walk or run for short distances.

Platypus feed

Platypus is quite a serious enemy for those animals on which it hunts. The birds of prey are insatiable - on the day they must eat a food volume equal to a fifth of their own weight. Therefore, the animal hunt continues for 10-12 hours a day. First, the beast lies motionless on the water, floating along the current. But the prey is discovered, the beast immediately dives and catches the victim. The predator can be underwater for only 30 minutes, but thanks to its amazing paws it develops a great speed and perfectly maneuvers. Eyes and ears in the water the predator keeps closed, orientates in search of food only for the sense of smell. Appears platypus, where his favorite food lives: larvae of insects, worms, various crustaceans, small fish and some species of algae. All the platypus caught is hidden in the mouth, in cheek pouches. When the bags become full, the platypus goes to the shore of the pond or floats to the surface of the water. Resting, the animal grinds caught by its horny jaws, which serve it as teeth.

Methods of hunting

When hunting, the platypus is oriented towards the electric field, which all living beings produce. Electroceptors are located on the amazing nose of the animal. With the help of them, the animal perfectly orientates itself in water and catches prey. There are cases when poaching for platypus poachers used traps that produce a weak electric current, and animals took a trap for their prey.

Surprisingly, platypuses are a rare mammal that can produce poison. This unusual weapon can boast only of males. In the mating season, the toxicity of the poison increases. There is a poison in the spurs, which are located at the end of the hind legs. Toxicity of the poison is not enough to kill a person, but a painful burn that occurs on the site of the lesion, heals only many weeks later. The poison is intended for hunting and protection from predators. Although the natural enemies of the platypus are few, his larvae, pythons and sea leopards may be interested in meat .

Marriage Games

Each year the platypus falls into a hibernation, which lasts 5-10 short winter days. After this, the mating period begins. How the platypus breeds, scientists have found comparatively recently. It turns out, like all the main events in the life of these animals, the process of courtship takes place in the water. Male bites the tail of the female, which he liked, after which the animals for a while circling in the water around each other. Constant couples they do not have, the children of the platypus remain only with the female, which itself is engaged in their cultivation and upbringing.

Waiting for the cubs

A month after mating, the platypus digs a long deep hole, filling it with bunches of wet leaves and brushwood. All the necessary female wears, embracing her paws and tucking her flat tail from below. When the shelter is ready, the future mother fits into the nest, and the entrance to the hole is thrown by the earth. In this nesting chamber the platypus lays eggs. In the masonry there are usually two, rarely three small whitish eggs, which are glued together by a sticky substance. The female incubates eggs 10-14 days. This time the animal spends, curled into a ball on a masonry hidden by damp leaves. In this case, the female platypus can occasionally leave the burrow in order to have a snack, clean and wet the fur.

The Birth of the Platypus

After two weeks of living, a small platypus appears in the clutch. Eggs pierce an egg with an egg tooth. After the baby leaves the shell, this tooth disappears. After the birth, the female platypus moves the cubs to itself on the abdomen. The platypus is a mammal, so the young woman re-feeds the milk. There are no nipples in the platypus, the milk from the dilated pores on the abdomen of the parent flows down the fur into special grooves, from which the cubs lick. The mother occasionally goes outside to hunt and clean, while the entrance to the hole is clogged with earth.
Up to eight weeks the cubs need a warm mother and can freeze if left unattended for a long time.

On the eleventh week, small eyes open in small platypuses, after four months, babies grow up to 33 cm in length, overgrown with wool and completely pass to adult forage. A little later they leave the burrow and begin to lead an adult way of life. At the age of one year the platypus becomes an adult sexually mature specimen.

Platypus in history

Before the advent of the first European settlers on the Australian coast, the platypus had practically no external enemies. But the amazing and valuable fur made them an object of fishing for white people. Skins of platypus, black and brown outside and gray inside, at one time went to sewing fur coats and hats for European women of fashion. And the locals did not hesitate to shoot the platypus for their needs. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the decline in the number of these animals was on an alarming scale. Naturalists sounded the alarm, and rows of dying animals were added to the platypus. Australia began to create special reserves for amazing animals. The animals were taken under the protection of the state. The problem was complicated by the fact that the places where the platypus dwells must be protected from the presence of man, since this animal is shy and sensitive. In addition, the massive spread of rabbits on this continent deprived platypuses of habitual nesting places - their holes were occupied by eared aliens. Therefore, the government had to allocate huge areas, protected from outside interference, in order to preserve and multiply the population of platypuses. Such reserves have played a decisive role in preserving the numbers of these animals.

Platypus Plants in Captivity

Attempts have been made to settle this animal in zoos. In 1922, the first platypus arrived in the New York Zoo, and lived only 49 days in captivity. Because of their desire for silence and increased fearfulness, animals have not mastered zoos, captive platypus lays eggs reluctantly, the offspring managed to get only a few times. There are no recorded cases of domestication of these exotic animals. Platypus were and have remained wild and distinctive Australian aborigines.

Platypus today

Now platypuses are not considered endangered animals. Tourists are happy to visit places where the platypus lives. Photo of this animal travelers willingly publish in their stories about the Australian tour. Images of poultry are a distinguishing feature of many Australian products and manufacturers. Along with kangaroos, the platypus became a symbol of the Australian continent.

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