Diet A duck billed platypus is a carnivore. The duck billed platypus feeds almost exclusively on the small animals that live on the river bed or lake bed. Its diet consists mainly of shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, insect larvae and worms.
Physical Description A platypus, at first glance, resembles an otter with a ducks bill on its face and a beavers tail in back. An adult platypus, about the size of a house cat, weighs from 3 to 5 pounds, its adult head and body length runs 12 to 18 inches, and the tail adds another 4 to 6 inches. Males are larger than females. The snout, despite its duckbill shape, is soft, moist, and rubbery in texture, not hard like a birds beak.
Breeding Info Following an elaborate courtship ritual that includes the male holding on to the females tail, and the pair swimming in slow circles, the two copulate in the water. The female lays one to three eggs in the chamber, two to four weeks after mating. A typical egg is slightly oval, about half an inch in diameter, with a soft, leathery shell like a reptiles. The mother incubates the eggs by holding them against her belly fur with her tail, maintaining a constant temperature of 90°F. The young hatch in about ten days, each tearing through the eggshell with a temporary egg tooth.
Special Behavior and Unique Anatomy The platypus is a very shy and elusive creature, hiding during the day, and doing most of its searching for food in the evening and at night. A platypus may make up to 100 dives a day searching for food, staying underwater for one to two minutes at a time. Platypuses shelter in burrows they dig in riverbanks, using their sharp claws which have retractable webbing. Males platypuses can defend themselves with a sharp spur on their hind ankle which delivers strong venom.
Weird Info It doesnt bear live young.. A mother platypus typically lays two eggs. The eggs cling to the mothers fur on her belly. Though the mother produces milk, she doesnt suckle her babies. Instead, the milk oozes out of the glands onto the mothers fur. The babies then lick it off. It has poison spurs. The male platypus has poison spurs on its hind feet. The venom can make a person ill and is strong enough to kill a dog. A platypus lifespan is about 10-15 years, though their life expectancy in the wild is closer to six years.