What Are Some Platypus Facts for Kids?


Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

Besides its unique bill, the platypus has a coat of plush fur, a tail like a beaver's and webbed feet. The thick fur coat protects the platypus from the cold, keeping it warm even when it swims under water. Its tail is shaped like a paddle and helps with steering. The tail also holds stores of fat when food is scarce. The webbed feet of the platypus resemble those of an otter. The platypus uses the front feet to paddle through the water while the back feet help in steering along with the tail. When it moves on land, it curls its webbing under and walks on its knuckles.

The platypus lives on insects, larvae, shellfish and worms. It scoops up mud and rocks at the bottom of rivers and ponds that contain food with its bill. It then stores these in its cheek to later use for mashing up its food.

The male platypus has stingers on its back feet. When defending itself, it sticks its foe with the stingers and transmits toxic venom.

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