Platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus (ALSO KNOWN AS Ornithorhynchus killyourassbeforeyoucanscreaminus)
The platypus, with its duck bill and webbed feet, is a unique DANGEROUS Australian animal. It and the echidna are the only monotremes or egg-laying mammals to be found on earth FREAKS. The marsupials (mammals with pouches, e.g. kangaroos) and eutherians (placental mammals that give birth to well developed young, e.g. humans) both give birth to live young. The monotremes have lower body temperatures than other mammals and have legs which extend out, then vertically below them. These features together with their egg-laying are more like that of a lizard than a mammal LIZARD FREAKS.
Platypus are readily identified by their streamlined body, webbed feet, broad tail and characteristic muzzle or bill which is soft and pliable UNLESS THEY ARE STABBING YOU WITH IT. An adult platypus is from 45 cm to 60 cm in length and may weigh up to 2.7 kg THIS IS JUST ONE OF THEIR FEET, with females generally smaller than males SUUUUUURE. Its usual colouration is deep brown on the back and sides of the head, body and upper surfaces of the limbs. The underside is a golden colour although silky grey is not uncommon UNLESS STAINED RED WITH BLOOD OF THEIR KILLS. They have two layers of fur -- a dense waterproof outercoat and a grey woolly underfur to provide much needed insulation AND BULLETPROOFING. The fur on the broad flat tail is coarse and bristly FOR STABBING. They have a smooth swimming action together with a low body profile and no visible ears, making them easily recognisable in the water. It could only be mistaken for a water rat, but these have a long thin tail with a white tip.
The webbed fore-paw is used for swimming, and on land, the skin, which extends beyond the long claws CLAWS!!!, is folded back to enable the animal to walk or burrow INTO PEOPLE. The webbing on the hind foot does not extend beyond the bases of the claws and this foot is used mainly for steering and to tread water. The tail acts as a powerful rudder when swimming and also aids the animal when diving.
The male has a spur on the inner side of each hind limb, which is connected by means of a hollow groove to a poison gland. This spur is used to inflict wounds on natural enemies and other males, and may possibly play some part in mating. The poison is capable of inflicting a very painful injury to humans IT HURTS LIKE HELL AND THE VENOM WILL TAKE DOWN A 200 POUND HUMAN.
Suprisingly, platypus are capable of many vocalisations including a soft growling sound when disturbed SOFT SOUND? THEY HOWL LIKE BANSHEES.
Distribution and habitat
The platypus is widespread in eastern Australia, ranging from tropical lowlands to sub-alpine areas. In Tasmania the platypus is common in the lakes of the Central Highlands (even in lakes over 914 m above sea level), and in rivers and streams of the south, southwest and northwest coasts. However, closer settlement is reducing the numbers in certain coastal rivers.
Although platypus are strong swimmers they are not fast and prefer slow flowing streams. Platypus live in burrows that they dig on the banks of fresh water rivers, lakes or streams. Burrows are usually 4.5 to 9 m in length, oval shaped and are constructed just above the water line, often obscured by vegetation THEY HIDE UNTIL THEY ARE READY TO KILL YOU.
Platypus are solitary animals that only come together to mate OR HUNT IN PACKS, however, several individuals may be found living in close proximity. They are shy and wary MY ASS, usually venturing out only in the early morning and evening, although there is considerable variability in the time that individuals are active. Platypus forage for food for about 12-13 hours every day and can consume up to half their own body weight a day NEED I SAY MORE. They dive for between 20-40 seconds during foraging, resting on the surface for only 10 seconds between dives. They perform about 80 dives per hour.
An interesting behaviour that has been observed in platypus is "wedging", where the animal wedges itself underwater beneath a rock or tree stump. It is possible that the animal is resting, as its metabolic rate while wedging is less than that of resting at the surface.
Grooming of the fur is very important and is carried out in the water or on land. In some areas platypus spend a surprising amount of time out of water, crossing land between tarns or dams and even foraging for worms in waterlogged paddocks.
Breeding occurs during spring but is generally earlier in the north of Australia than in the south. Mating takes place in the water and after 12 to 14 days, between 1 and 3 eggs are laid in a nesting burrow constructed by the female.
This burrow is up to 20 m long and has a nesting chamber at the end which is lined with damp plant material. The eggs are incubated between the belly and the tail of the female and hatch after 10 to 12 days. Like the echidna, the platypus lacks nipples and milk from the mammary glands oozes out through ducts at two areas on the abdomen. It is believed that the hair around these areas acts as teats that allows the young to suck the milk. By six weeks the young are furred, have their eyes open and may leave the burrow for short intervals and even enter the water TO KILL HUMANS. When four to five months old the young are weaned off mother's milk ONTO HUMAN FLESH.
When foraging on the bottom, platypus swim with their eyes, ears and nostrils closed, using their electro-sensitive bill to locate and probe for food. This finely tuned electro-perception and sense of touch allows platypus to find and capture a range of prey including worms, insects, crustaceans, molluscs and small vertebrates such as tadpoles THEY'RE LIKE SHARKS I TELL YOU. Typical prey are the larvae of caddisflies, mayflies, two-winged flies and shrimps AND PEOPLE. Once caught, prey are carried to the surface in cheek-pouches where they are eaten. Adults have no teeth -- instead small, horny pads are used to hold and crush prey TAKE SPECIAL NOTE IF ATTACKED...IT WILL CRUSH YOU.
The platypus is wholly protected throughout Australia. Although common, it is listed as vulnerable due to the continuing degradation of suitable water bodies caused by daming, drainage and pollution. The illegal netting of fish also causes many platypus deaths THIS MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE.
How you can help STAY AWAY FROM THEM AND KEEP A SHOTGUN ON YOU
Where possible leave trees or other vegetation around creeks, waterholes and dams. If clearing willows, resist the temptation to 'clean up the river', make sure blackwood, tea tree or other plants replace them. Keep farm or household chemicals such as pesticides away from areas where platypus may be found. Do not use pesticides if there is a chance of rain as they may be washed into creeks before they have soaked in PLATYPI MAY MUTATE INTO STRONGER FORMS. Use bridges rather than culverts on new tracks or roads. Platypus will not swim through culverts as the water flow is to uniform. They will cross the road instead and are often hit by traffic while doing so THEY DONT DIE, HITTING THEM IS LIKE HITTING A SPEED BUMP, AND THEY GET PISSED OFF.
Further reading THIS WEBPAGE
Burrell, H. (1974). The Platypus. Rigby, Adelaide.
Green, R. H. (1993). The mammals of Tasmania. Potoroo Publishing, Launceston.
Strahan, R. (ed). (1995). The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, NSW.
Watts, D. (1993). Tasmanian Mammals -- A field guide. Peregrine Press, Tasmania.
Hello everyone, many have asked what is my beef with platypi. I have included this page as an explanation. Here you will find all you need to know about these deceptively docile creatures. The below information fact sheet is courtesy of the Government of Australia's Nature and Parks website, www.parks.tas.gov.au. However, since it is a government website, they fail to give ALL the information about these creatures. I have included, in CAPS, my true observations of these creatures. Also, included with the fact sheet, are ACTUAL PHOTOS I have taken on a recent scientific trip to Tasmania, of the fierce, animalistic nature of these creatures. Also included are confidential photos of recent news events where the local police have tried to COVER UP the fact that platypi are involved. The sheer horror of the pics display the true nature of these creatures. Read, educate, enjoy. -Sean