A platypus is part of a group of animals know as monotremes. Monotremes are the only mammals to lay eggs rather than giving birth to live young. Platypuses are semi-aquatic and are venomous, with the male of the species having a spur on the hind foot. They have a bill, four legs with webbed feet, and a tail similar to a beaver. Its body is covered in brown fur and it is quite adept at swimming. Adult platypuses can reach up to two feet (60 centimeters) in length, and six pounds (2.7 kilograms) in weight. The platypuses mating season occurs between June and October every year.
The habitat of the Platypus
Platypuses can be found in only one place in the world, Australia. They are found along the eastern coast and Tasmania. Platypuses are semi-aquatic species and for this reason they are found in fresh water rivers and streams. They inhabit vastly different habitats from the highland mountain streams of Tasmania to the tropical rainforest rivers of Northern Queensland. Platypuses prefer river and streams with good water quality and, due to this fact, populations of platypuses have dwindled in waterways that are used heavily by humans. Platypuses dig nesting and resting burrows into the side of river and steam banks. These are often just above water level and protected by an overhanging tree or roots system. They are territorial and tend to occupy an area of up to 7 kilometers including the river banks. Platypuses spend large amounts of time in the water foraging for food and can stay underwater for periods of 30 to 40 seconds at a time.