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:

    What is a group of platypus called?

    A:

    There is no official collective noun for the platypus animal because this mammal is typically a solitary creature, although a group of platypuses could be referred to as a "paddle." Collective nouns are usually created for animals that commonly appear in groups, such as a pride of lions or a herd of cattle.

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  • Q:

    What are some adaptations of the platypus?

    A:

    The platypus's adaptations include webbed feet and a broad, flat tail that help it swim, thick fur to keep it warm and strong claws to help it dig and move around on land. The platypus also has special receptors in its bill to help it hunt in the dark.

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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:

    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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