Q:

How does a platypus find its food?

A:

The platypus hunts underwater and uses sensors in its bill to find and scoop up small prey living along the bottom of the river or lake where they hunt. They stay submerged for 1 to 2 minutes and then return to the surface to breathe and eat their prey.

The platypus feeds on aquatic invertebrate, such as insect larvae, swimming beetles, water bugs, tadpoles, worms, muscles, snails, shrimp, fish eggs and small fish. They hunt mostly at night, and spend 10 to 12 hours a day foraging for food. While underwater, the platypus uses flaps of skin to close its eyes, ears and nostrils, and relies entirely on electro-receptors and pressure sensors in its bill to navigate and find prey. Small prey is sifted from non-edible material, and larger prey is captured individually.

The platypus stores the captured food in cheek pouches and brings it to the surface. They chew their food using special grinding plates with horns, and they use small pieces of gravel to help grind their food.

Platypuses, especially males, are solitary creatures and do not like to come into contact with other platypuses. Platypuses have well-defined hunting territories and avoid hunting at the same time as other platypuses.


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