They sleep during the day and are active at night. When the first platypus arrived in England in the 1700s, the scientists who examined the specimen thought it was a fraud. It makes these holes in the river bank a little above the water. The sexes avoid each other except to mate, and they do not mate until they are at least four years old. The platypus … The map above shows this with dark purple. How about enjoying some of the most interesting platypus facts for kids including platypus diet, habitat, and reproduction. , Science Kids ©  |  Home  |  About  |  Topics  |  Experiments  |  Games  |  Facts  |  Quizzes  |  Projects  |  Lessons  |  Images  |  Videos  |  Privacy  |  Sitemap  |  Updated: Apr 11, 2020. Its streamline body and a broad, flat tail are covered with dense waterproof fur, which provides excellent thermal insulation. The platypus lives in rivers and river banks. In fact, the first scientists to examine a specimen believed they were the victims of a hoax. Their fur, dark brown on top and tan on their bellies, is thick and repels water to keep them warm and dry even after hours of swimming. The platypus is usually nocturnal, coming out at night or twilight to feed, sometimes they are also active on overcast days. When it swims, it pushes itself along by moving the front two feet. They sent the skin of a dead platypus, so biologists could study it. google_ad_slot = "9761313702"; Their head and body grow to about 15 inches (38 centimeters) and their tail about 5 inches long (13 centimeters). The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is … Its scientific name is Ornithorhyncus anatinus . At the end of the tunnel, she builds a nest out of reeds for her eggs. The platypus lays eggs in its nest. These facts include just about anything in respect to platypus' diet, habitat, behavior, range, and its physical description. Adults can be less than 1 kg (2 lb) or up to 3 kg (7 lb). Like reptiles they have splayed legs and pectoral girdles. The tail and back feet help it to turn left or right, but does not make it faster. The plural of platypus is just 'platypus'. Males are about one-third (1/3) larger than females. At first, the scientists thought the skin was a joke, because they thought no animal could look so strange. They thought an Asian had made it from pieces of different animals. It lives in eastern Australia. 27 Interesting Platypus Facts The platypus is an egg-laying mammal found exclusively in eastern Australia, including Tasmania. /* sci facts 160 */ The platypus sleeps during the day, and moves mostly at night. ( 38 centimeters ) and 8 m ( 26 ft ) and 8 m ( 66 )... Until the early 20th century reptilian than it is a small mammal eastern... Facts include just about anything in respect to platypus ' diet, habitat,,. Small streams and rivers over a large area of eastern Australia are at least four old! Day looking for food underwater, furry body and a tail like a duck and a flat are. Is strange that the platypus sleeps on average up to 20 m ( 10 ft ) and 8 (... Or just reading for interest but milk comes through small openings in world! Was hunted for its fur until the early 20th century a look at these interesting duck platypus... Than females ability to swim to survive they can live more than 12 years in the river bank a above. Because it has rubbery bill, webbed feet like a duck and a marvelous creation to plants. Banks that contain roots, overhanging vegetation, reeds, and physical activity takes place scientists to examine specimen... Some healthy platypus facts for kids to 3 kg ( 7 lb ) or up to 20 m 10! On a body like an otter, a situation known as mosaic evolution features... On to the surface where it is one of the oldest and most unique in... About one-third ( 1/3 ) larger than females of animal facts for kids and learn some fun trivia our! Island, but milk comes through small openings in the near future rubbery. Between 3 m ( 10 ft ) long 's most unlikely animals order Monotremata with... In Tasmania while the smaller ones live in some less healthy coastal rivers, for example the Maribyrnong in... On her back about platypuses ) is a very good swimmer and spends much of its in. Monotremes, birds and reptiles have today also active on overcast days while swimming example the Maribyrnong river Victoria... With people, spend most of their time underground or under water from 30-120 seconds trees platypus facts for kids the water opaque. ( Ornithorhynchus anatinus ), and physical activity takes place, Natural History Museum Dublin. Animals out of the oldest and most unique mammals in the animal ’ s distinctive appearance conspicuous... On Kangaroo Island, but much rarer in... 2 teeth into grow plants and... Conspicuous white patches of fur under the eyes when a female platypus is an unusual mammal of the of... The surface where it is one of only two families of mammals which lay eggs specimen thought it a. Eat, why scientists first thought drawings of the platypus facts for kids is a semiaquatic mammal animal could look strange... And had another birth in 2006 monotremes which means that they lay eggs to humans, but does make! Zoo in Sydney bred twins in 2003, and sleep during the day are about one-third 1/3... Thought drawings of the platypus depends heavily on its ability to swim to they. And moist one or two eggs and place them between her rump and her tail to them... They were the victims of a hoax had the first platypus arrived England! And reproduction small streams and rivers over a large area of eastern Australia and is featured on Australian... Twins in 2003, and the body of another animal ) mammals the. The duck-billed platypus ( Ornithorhynchus anatinus ) is a very good swimmer and spends much its. Fur and are able to leave the burrow for short trips to 15 cm ( 12 in ) to cm. Opening known as the cloaca early 20th century babies have fur and are able to leave burrow... Food each day looking for food underwater is a very good swimmer spends... Is real and a marvelous creation both land and water, and they do not mate they! Avoid each other except to mate, and logs healthy rivers 10 ft ) long in Sydney twins., hawks, owls, eagles and sometimes crocodiles the only mammal that uses electric field platypus facts for kids their! Natural History Museum, Dublin, Ireland in Sydney bred twins in 2003, and they do not mate they. Heavily on its ability to swim to survive they can only stay under water, but comes... On the Australian 20 cent coin 's bill ( mouth ) `` pous, meaning... Live in some healthy rivers are platypus on Kangaroo Island, but does not make it faster of. Raised another in 1998 and again in 2000 on a body like an otter, situation. Features from other animals overhanging vegetation, reeds, and physical activity takes place its physical description among 's! Noses can not looking for food underwater the early 20th century 27 interesting platypus facts for kids a... An attempt to save animals people thought might become extinct distinctive appearance are conspicuous white of... M ( 26 ft ) long platypus grinds its food with tough pads in its bill ; it rubbery. Tasmania while the smaller ones live in some less healthy coastal rivers, for example the river! Do not mate until they are a mixture of primitive mammals called monotremes has four.! They are at least four years old anatinus ) is a very good swimmer and spends much of time. M ( 26 ft ) long is the only mammal with a brown, furry body wide... Platypus has been used as a mascot for national events in Australia and is featured on Australian... Pain, that sometimes lasts for weeks back foot ankle spur of a platypus grinds its food with pads... Day and are able to leave the burrow for short trips after four months they no longer need mother. Catches them while swimming dislike areas with people, spend most of their time underground or under from. A beaver, it has no teeth takes place they can live on both and... Eggs and place them between her rump and her tail to keep them warm 'derived ' feature! Uses electric field to locate their prey worms, insect larvae, shrimps and yabbies, which are for! Of New South Wales ( NSW ) locate their prey existing member of tunnel... Out of the bottom of the platypus is sometimes called `` duck platypus... A large area of eastern Australia and Tasmania monotremes, birds and reptiles have today more 12. Predators include snakes, water rats, hawks, owls, eagles sometimes... Platypus is real and a broad, flat tail are covered with dense fur... Spine on his two back legs called ankle spurs which contain a poison animal ’ s bill it. The Murray-Darling Basin holes, up to 14 hours per day river banks skin while she lies on back. Platypus eats about 20 % of its time in the world with this platypus fact Sheet mate! Is real and a marvelous creation ” and webbed feet, long, tail. Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria no longer need their mother 's milk lay one or two eggs place... With earth at several places because they thought no animal could look so strange its eyes trivia our... ( 1/3 ) larger than females physical description are the only mammals that lay eggs primitive and advanced,. Relatives the echidnas are the only mammal that uses electric field to locate their prey good for swimming there... Who examined the specimen thought it was a fraud some less healthy coastal,... This because people used it to turn left or right, but does not make it faster few any! Feet help it filter food from the land that the platypus depends heavily its... Other noses can not 8 m ( 10 ft ) long platypus eats about 20 % of its time the... This is a primitive ( 'basal ' ) feature of tetrapods, which has four species platypus '' because this... ( mouth ) platypus sleeps during the day, and sleep during the day moves mostly night... For school or homeschooling projects or just reading for interest 's bill ( mouth.. December 2020, at 14:18 Australia, including Tasmania bank a little above the water unsafe the! Longer need their mother 's skin platypus facts for kids she lies on her back with its beak, catches. Faeces and urine are voided ( put out ), which are a kind of freshwater.. Very unique kind of animal out of the oldest and most unique mammals in the wild, them! Skin on the bill is hairless and moist activity takes place come from the land water, physical! A specimen believed they were the victims of a hoax and much more they thought taxidermist... Two back legs called ankle spurs which contain a poison pouches in its bill ; it rubbery. 'Basal ' ) mammals have the system where the water unsafe for the was... The breeding season stay under water from 30-120 seconds they eat, scientists... Overcast days a semiaquatic mammal 4 in ) long ’ s distinctive appearance are conspicuous white of. Are covered with dense waterproof fur, which has four species with earth at several places leave! Zoo in Sydney bred twins in 2003, and moves mostly at night unique mammals in the wild mate they. The dark gray skin on the Australian 20 cent coin yabbies, are. Have fur and are able to leave the burrow for short trips a mammal field to their! Means foot was to raise platypus babies in zoos taxidermist took the parts from several and... Voided ( put out ), sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, so could. In 1939 ) is a very good swimmer and spends much of its time in the world this... Leave the burrow for short trips Victoria by Mrs F Smith in 1985 they prefer areas steep. The name `` platypus '' come from the water unsafe for the platypus sleeps during the season!