Q:

What are some adaptations of the platypus?

A:

Quick Answer

The platypus's adaptations include webbed feet and a broad, flat tail that help it swim, thick fur to keep it warm and strong claws to help it dig and move around on land. The platypus also has special receptors in its bill to help it hunt in the dark.

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Full Answer

Platypuses eat aquatic invertebrates and usually forage at night, so they cannot rely on vision or smell. Instead, the receptors in their bills detect subtle pressure changes in the water as well as electrical impulses that their prey gives off. Platypuses have cheek pouches that allow them to store prey while foraging. They also store bits of gravel in these cheek pouches, which help them grind up their meals since they do not have teeth.

The platypus is well adapted for swimming. Their bodies are streamlined to help them move quickly and smoothly through water. In addition to their thick fur, they store body fat in their tail to help insulate them against cold water. They are able to close their ears and nostrils while diving.

Male platypuses have venomous spurs on their hind legs. The venom increases during breeding season, so it may be used in fights with other males. Platypuses reproduce by laying eggs, which the female incubates. After the eggs hatch, the mother nurses the helpless babies. This occurs in a secure burrow to help protect them from predators.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is a platypus a mammal?

    A:

    A platypus is a mammal. However, it's an unusual mammal in that it lays eggs. This makes it a monotreme as well as a mammal. It's also an aquatic creature that has a bill that resembles a duck's. The males have spurs on their back legs that produce venom.

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  • Q:

    What are some platypus facts for kids?

    A:

    The most remarkable part of the duck-billed platypus is its nose, which resembles a duck's bill. However, it isn't hard like a duck's bill, but soft and leathery. The bill is quite sensitive to touch and helps the platypus to find food and navigate in water.

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  • Q:

    Are platypus poisonous?

    A:

    The platypus is a venom-producing mammal. Adult males have a spur on their hind legs that they use to inject poison. The venom seems to be associated with the breeding season and competition for mates, although it is also used against would-be predators.

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  • Q:

    How many eggs does a platypus lay?

    A:

    The platypus typically lays one to three eggs at one time. After mating, it builds a nesting chamber before it is ready to lay the eggs.

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