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Duck-billed Platypus
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Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Monotremata
Family
Ornithorhynchidae
Genus
Ornithorhynchus
Species
O. anatinus
Status
Low Risk
Biome
Swamp


The Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record.

DescriptionEdit

The body and the broad, flat tail of the platypus are covered with dense, brown fur that traps a layer of insulating air to keep the animal warm. The fur is waterproof, and the texture is akin to that of a mole. The platypus uses its tail for storage of fat reserves (an adaptation also found in animals such as the Tasmanian devil and fat-tailed sheep). It has webbed feet and a large, rubbery snout; these features appear closer to those of a duck than to those of any known mammal. The webbing is more significant on the front feet and is folded back when walking on land. Unlike a bird's beak (in which the upper and lower parts separate to reveal the mouth), the snout of the platypus is a sensory organ with the mouth on the underside. The nostrils are located on the dorsal surface of the snout, while the eyes and ears are located in a groove set just back from it; this groove is closed when swimming. Platypuses have been heard to emit a low growl when disturbed and a range of other vocalizations have been reported in captive specimens.

DistributionEdit

The platypus is semiaquatic, inhabiting small streams and rivers over an extensive range from the cold highlands of Tasmania and the Australian Alps to the tropical rainforests of coastal Queensland as far north as the base of the Cape York Peninsula. Inland, its distribution is not well known; it is extinct in South Australia (apart from an introduced population on Kangaroo Island) and is no longer found in the main part of the Murray-Darling Basin, possibly due to the declining water quality brought about by extensive land clearing and irrigation schemes. Along the coastal river systems, its distribution is unpredictable; it appears to be absent from some relatively healthy rivers, and yet maintains a presence in others that are quite degraded (the lower Maribyrnong, for example).

BehaviorEdit

The platypus is an excellent swimmer and spends much of its time in the water foraging for food. When swimming, it can be distinguished from other Australian mammals by the absence of visible ears. Uniquely among mammals, it propels itself when swimming by an alternate rowing motion of the front feet; although all four feet of the platypus are webbed, the hind feet (which are held against the body) do not assist in propulsion, but are used for steering in combination with the tail. The species is endothermic, maintaining its body temperature at about 32°C (90°F), lower than most mammals, even while foraging for hours in water below 5°C (41°F).

Preferred ObjectsEdit

v · e · d
Animals
Basic
African Elephant - African Lion - Bald Eagle - Bengal Tiger - Cheetah - Chimpanzee - Duck-billed Platypus - Galapagos Tortoise - Giant Anteater - Giant Panda - Gray Wolf - Greater Flamingo - Grizzly Bear - Hippopotamus - Honey Badger - Komodo Dragon - Mountain Gorilla - Orangutan - Ostrich - Plains Zebra - Polar Bear - Red Kangaroo - Reticulated Giraffe - Saltwater Crocodile - Siberian Tiger - Superb Lyrebird - Thompson's Gazelle - Warthog - White-headed Capuchin - White Rhinoceros
Aquatic
Atlantic Giant Squid - Atlantic Sailfish - Australian Pelican - Beluga - Bottlenose Dolphin - Bull Shark - California Sea Lion - Emperor Penguin - Giant Pacific Octopus - Goliath Grouper - Great White Shark - Green Sea Turtle - Harp Seal - Japanese Spider Crab - Leatherback Sea Turtle - Lion's Mane Jellfish - Manta Ray - Marine Iguana - Mimic Octopus - Narwhal - Northern Elephant Seal - Orca - Sea Otter - Smooth Hammerhead Shark - Tiger Shark - Walrus - Wandering Albatross - West Indian Coelacanth - West Indian Manatee - Whale Shark
Extinct
Allosaurus - Ankylosaurus - Archelon - Archeopteryx - Brontosaurus - Carnotaurus - Ceratosaurus - Deinosuchus - Dodo - Dunkleosteus - Gigantopithecus - Glyptodon - Ichthyosaur - Megatherium - Moa - Oviraptor - Pachycephalosaurus - Parasaurolophus - Plesiosaurus - Quetzalcoatlus - Smilodon - Spinosaurus - Stegosaurus - Styracosaurus - Thylacine - Triceratops - Tyrannosaurus Rex - Velociraptor - Woolly Mammoth - Woolly Rhinoceros
Mythical
Ahool - Black Dog - Bunyip - Chupacabra - Death Worm - Dover Demon - Drop Bear - Eastern Dragon - El Cuero - European Dragon - Fiji Mermaid - Hodag - Jackalope - Jersey Devil - Kappa - Loch Ness Monster - Loveland Frogman - Manticore - Mokele-Mbembe - Mothman - Nightcrawler - Northwest Tree Octopus - Ogopogo - Phoenix - Sasquatch - Sea Monk - Sea Serpent - Thunderbird - Unicorn - Yeti
Characters
Zookeeper Zane - Cheeko
Types of Items
Buildings - Plants - Attractions - Paths - Fences - Decorations - Animal Food - Enrichment - Shelter (Exhibit)
Biomes
Alpine (Biome) - Boreal Forest (Biome) - Desert (Biome) - Open Ocean (Biome) - Plains (Biome) - Rainforest (Biome) - Reef (Biome) - Savanna (Biome) - Shore (Biome) - Swamp (Biome) - Temperate Forest (Biome) - Tundra (Biome)
Modes
Tutorial Mode - Task Mode - Sandbox Mode (Keeper Mode - God Mode)

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