Top 10 Facts About Platypuses

One of the world's strangest looking animals certainly has a lot of strange facts about it. Here's ten things you probably didn't know about the platypus.

The Top Ten

1 Platypuses are monotremes which are mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young

There's only two known monotremes in existence, which are the platypus and the echidna.

2 Platypuses are one of the world's few poisonous mammals
3 Only male platypuses carry poison
4 Male and female platypuses live apart in their own private burrows
5 Platypuses hunt using electroreception. Their rubbery bills are covered with special sensors that allow them to detect the electric fields generated by the bodies of their prey

Fish, like sharks and rays, hunt using electroreception too.

6 Platypuses don't have nipples so in order for a female platypus to feed her young, she oozes milk out of mammary gland ducts on her abdomen and her babies drink up by sucking it out of the mother's fur
7 Scientists thought the first known platypus was a hoax

When the skin of a young platypus was sent to Britain for examination in 1799, scientists thought it was a fake. Zoologist George Shaw (1751-1813) even checked it for stitches, believing that it had been sewn together from parts of other animals.

8 Platypuses don't have teeth so they use gravel as makeshift teeth to break up their food
9 Platypus skeletons resemble those of reptiles. They both have pectoral girdles and splayed legs
10 Platypuses don't have stomachs
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