These very unusual animals have webbed feet.
The fore feet are used for swimming, the back feet as brakes and for
steering. The bill of the Platypus is soft and very sensitive, the skin
of the bill has touch receptors which are used to receive information
about its surroundings, and is also sensitive to the slight
electric currents generated by its prey. The eyes and ear apertures,
as well as the nostrils are closed whilst under the water. The fur is
long and sleek on top, but underneath has extremely thick underfur which
The infant Platypus has milk teeth, but these are not replaced when
shed. It is interesting to note that fossils found, indicate that the
Platypus once upon a time had better developed teeth that were not shed.
Food is collected in the water, being mainly invertebrates, both larval
and adult, it is sifted from the bottom, stored in large cheek-pouches
until it surfaces where whilst resting, the food is broken up between
the tongue and the horny grinding plates and shearing ridges on the
upper and lower jaws. Larger prey is eaten individually.
Breeding occurs in our local area around September,
the female will lay 1 or 2 eggs which she incubates against her abdomen
for about 2 weeks, she will at this stage be inside a blocked off nest
at the end of a long burrow called a breeding burrow. The young Platypus
will suckle the mother for 4 -5 months, milk is excreted through the
skin on the abdomen, they have no teats.