Curiosities about or platypus
The platypus is a very curious animal. Since its discovery it has been very difficult to classify it since it has very different animal characteristics. He has hair, a duck’s beak, eggs and in addition he suckles his young.
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It is endemic to eastern Australia and the island of Tasmania. Its name derives from the Greek ornithorhynkhos, which means ” like a duck .”
In this article by YourCatCareguide we talk about this strange animal. You will discover how to hunt, how it reproduces and why it has such disparate characteristics. Keep reading and discover curiosities about the platypus .
What is the platypus?
The platypus is a monotreated mammal . Monotremates are an order of mammals with reptilian characteristics, such as laying eggs or sewage . The cloaca is a hole that they have in the back of the body and where the urinary, digestive and reproductive systems converge.
There are currently 5 live monotreated species. The platypus and monotrematas . Monotrematas are similar to common hedgehogs but share the curious characteristics of monotremates. They are all solitary and loose animals, which only relate to each other during mating seasons.
They are poisonous
The platypus is one of the few mammals in the world that have venom . Males have a spikeon their hind legs that releases the venom. It is secreted by the crural glands. Females are also born with them but do not develop after birth and disappear before adulthood.
It is a poison with numerous toxins produced by the animal’s immune system. It is lethal to small animals and very painful to humans. We describe situations of caregivers who suffered severe pain for several days.
There is no antidote to this poison, and the patient only administers palliatives to combat the pain of the sting.
The platypus uses an electrolocalization system to hunt its prey. They can detect the electric fields generated by their prey as they contract their muscles. They can do this thanks to the electrosensorial cells that they have in the skin of the muzzle. They also have distributed by the muzzle mechanoreceptor cells, cells specialized for the touch.
These cells act in sets to send to the brain the information needed to orient themselves without the need to use smell or sight. The system is very useful since the platypus dates its eyes and only hears under water. He dives into shallow water and digs the bottom with the help of his snout.
The prey as they move between the earth generate small electric fields that are detected by the platypus. It is able to distinguish the living beings between the inert matter around them, this being another of the curiosities about the most outstanding platypus.
It is a carnivorous animal , it feeds mainly on worms and insects, small crustaceans, larvae and other annelids.
As we said earlier, platypus are monotone . They are mammals that lay eggs. Females reach sexual maturity from the first year of life and do one posture per year. After copulation the female takes refuge in deep burrows constructed with different levels to maintain the temperature and the humidity. This system also protects them from increases in water levels and predators.
Make a bed with leaves and lay between 1 to 3 eggs 10-11 millimeters in diameter. are small eggs more rounded than those of birds. They develop inside the mothers’ uterus for 28 days and after 10-15 days of external incubation the offspring are born.
When small platypus are born they are very vulnerable. They have no hair and are blind. They are born with teeth, which will lose in a short time, leaving only a few horny plaques.
They nurse their young
Breastfeeding their babies is common in mammals. However, platypuses lack nipples. So, how do they breastfeed?
Another of the curiosities about the platypus is that the females have mammary glands that are located in the abdomen. Because they do not have nipples, they secrete the milk through the pores of the skin. In this region of the abdomen they have grooves where this milk is stored as it is expelled, so that the chicks lick the milk of their skin. The nursing period of the offspring is 3 months.
As a semi-aquatic animal he is an excellent swimmer . Although it has 4 flat legs, it only uses the front for swimming. The hind legs attach them to the tail and use it as a rudder in the water, such as a fish.
On land they walk like a reptile. In this way, and as curiosity about the platypus, we see that the legs are located on the sides and not at the bottom like other mammals. The skeleton of the platypus is quite primitive, with short, tail-like ends of an otter.
In studying the platypic map of the platypus scientists have found that the mixture of traits present in the platypus is also reflected in their genes.
They have characteristics only seen in amphibians, birds and fish. But the most curious thing about the platypus is its system of sex chromosomes. Mammals like us have 2 sex chromosomes. However, the platypus has 10 sex chromosomes .
Their sex chromosomes are more similar to birds than to mammals. They lack the SRY region, which determines the male gender. So far, it has not been determined exactly how sex is determined in this species.