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How many platypuses are left in the world?

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Quick Answer

Scientists do not know for certain how many platypuses are left in the world; however, it is estimated that there are between 10,000 to 100,000. Platypuses are found on the Eastern and Southern Australian coastline as well as Flinders Island and Northern Tasmania.

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The platypus is considered one of the strangest looking animals in nature. The first scientists to study a specimen thought someone had pulled a hoax on them. Platypuses have a bill and webbed feet like a duck, a tail like a beaver and the fur and body of an otter.

These animals may appear harmless, but the males are venomous. They have stingers on their rear feet, which they use to deliver a strong toxin to a foe. Platypuses cannot bite, however, because they have no teeth.

Not only is the appearance of a platypus unique, so is its reproduction. It is one of only two mammals in the world that lay eggs. Female platypuses hide inside a burrow to lay one or two eggs, then keep them warm by using their body and tail to hold them.

Platypuses are underwater hunters. They can stay submerged for up to 2 minutes at a time and use their sensitive bills to scavenge food. Platypuses are bottom feeders and eat insects, larvae and worms.

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