Australian Wildlife

  Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Platypus | Ornithorhynchus anatinus photo
platypus at the Sydney Aquarium.

Image by bunnicula - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Platypus | Ornithorhynchus anatinus photo
This photo of Platypus swimming shows the duck bill and webbed feet.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Platypus | Ornithorhynchus anatinus photo
Platypus at Sydney Aquarium

Image by Stefan Kraft - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Platypus | Ornithorhynchus anatinus photo
Photograph of platypus skeleton at Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.


The Platypus has short legs and a flat streamlined body. It has distinctive duck bill and webbed feet to assist swimming. The male has a 1.5cm long venom spur on the hind foot. The platypus has thick waterproof hair - dark brown on its back and yellowish underneath. The tail is made up of a fatty tissue used to store energy for when there is a shortage of food. It uses its tail for steering while swimming.

Other Names
Duckbill, Duck-billed Platypus

40-50cm long including its tail

They are found in freshwater dams and streams.

invertebrates, small fish, fish eggs, frogs, and tadpoles. The platypus does not have any teeth and chews by grinding its food.

Two white eggs about 16 to 18mm long They are like reptile eggs with sticky soft skin. The eggs hatch after 10 - 12 days, The young are about 18cm when hatched and remain in burrow for 3 or 4 months. The platypus and the echidna are the only egg laying mammals in Australia.

only found in the Eastern parts of Australia from northern Queensland to Tasmania

distribution map showing range of Ornithorhynchus anatinus in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at https://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License

Common Name:Platypus