Is the poison of the platypus deadly?

The platypus is a semiaquatic and endemic mammal from Australia and Tasmania, characteristic of a duck-like beak, a beaver-like tail, and paws such as the otter. It is one of the few poisonous mammals out there.

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The male of this species has a spike in the hind legs, which releases a poison that can cause intense pain . Besides the platypus we have the shrews and the well-known solenodon, as a species that also have the capacity to produce and inject poison.

In this article of the Animal Expert we want to share various information about the poisons that the platypus produce and mainly answer the question: Is the venom of the platypus deadly ?

You may also interest you: Facts about the platypus

The production of venom on the platypus

Both male and female have spikes at the ankles, however only the male produces venom . This is made up of proteins similar to defensive ones, where three are unique to this animal. The defenses are produced in the animal’s immune system.

The venom can kill small animals , including dogs and produce them in the male’s crural glands, which are kidney-shaped and connected to the spike. Females are born with rudimentary spikes that do not develop and fall before the first year of age. Apparently the information to develop the venom is on the chromosome, which is why only males can produce it.

The poison has a different function from that produced by non-mammalian species, with effects not so lethal, but strong enough to weaken the enemy. The platypus injects in a dose, between 2 to 4 ml of its venom. During the mating season, male venom production increases.

In the image you can see the calcaneal spur, with which the platypus injects its venom.

The Effects of Poison on Humans

The poison can kill small animals, however in humans it is not lethal, but produces intense pain. Immediately after the bite an edema develops around the wound and extends through the affected limb, the pain is so strong that it can not be mitigate with morphine . In addition, a simple cough can increase the intensity of the pain.

After one hour it can spread even to other areas of the body, other than the affected extremity. After the period of color, this turns into a hyperalgesia that can last a few days or even months. It has also been documented that muscle atrophy can last for the same length of time as hyperalgesia. In Australia there were few cases of platypus bites .

Is the poison of the platypus deadly?

In short we can say that the venom of the platypus is and is not mortal . Why? Because in the smaller animals, yes, it is lethal, causing the death of the victim, a poison so powerful that it can even kill a dog if it has the conditions for that to happen.

But if we speak of the damage that the poison causes to a human, it is a very strong damage and a pain compared even with one of greater intensity than the gunshot wounds. However it is not strong enough to kill a human being.

However, it should be noted that the attacks of animals such as the platypus happen because the animal feels threatened or as a defense . And a tip, the correct way to grab and avoid a sting of the platypus is by holding the animal at the base of its tail so that it stays face down.

You may also be interested in seeing the most poisonous snakes in the world .

If you want to see the collection in the list above, click here. , we recommend you to enter our Curiosities section of the animal world .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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