Q:

What eats a platypus?

A:

Quick Answer

The platypus is typically attacked by crocodiles, foxes, cats, dogs and large birds of prey, though they can also be attacked by water-rats and pythons. A platypus will attempt to protect itself by burrowing or by using its sharp spines that are located on the back of its legs.

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Full Answer

These spines contain poisonous venom that is lethal to many animals, though it is not lethal to humans. The platypus preys on aquatic insects, worms, pea-shell muscles and shrimp. They use their bill to find their prey and then to eat it. The bills are oddly shaped and look like a duck, but actually have receptors which allow the platypus to sense movement.

The platypus has also had to deal with threats from humans. Humans have destroyed much of the platypuses habitat along the rivers and streams where they live. Humans have placed paths along these water areas that cause erosion and give predators better access to platypus burrows. This interference in the platypus environment also makes it more difficult for the platypus to find and capture prey. There is also a high level of toxins from household wastes and fertilizers that make their way into the platypuses environment through the water. To make a difference in the lifestyle of the platypus, people must make an effort to clean up the waterways.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who discovered the platypus?

    A:

    While Australian aborigines were aware of the platypus long before Europeans came to Australia, Captain John Hunter is usually given credit as the animal's discoverer. He sent a platypus pelt and a sketch of the animal to England in the late 1700s.

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  • Q:

    What is a baby platypus called?

    A:

    There is no official or generally accepted term for a baby platypus. Some people refer to baby platypuses as puggles, but that is more of a nickname than a proper title. Another name commonly used is "platypup."

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  • Q:

    Is a platypus a mammal?

    A:

    A platypus is a mammal. However, it's an unusual mammal in that it lays eggs. This makes it a monotreme as well as a mammal. It's also an aquatic creature that has a bill that resembles a duck's. The males have spurs on their back legs that produce venom.

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  • Q:

    How much does a platypus weigh?

    A:

    The duck-billed platypus weighs between 2 and 5 pounds, and males are generally larger than females. Platypuses lose fat seasonally after the winter, making them lighter in the spring than in the fall. The average weight for adult males and females, regardless of season, is 3.35 pounds.

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