Monotreme– an egg-laying mammal
I’m pretty sure everyone just thought of a specific one. Yet, there are five species. One is the platypus and the other four are types of echidna. All are listed as critically endangered due to habitat loss and overhunting. Bushfires, drought, and invasive predator species are other threats. At least, that’s what some sites said. Others said only two of the echidnas are critically endangered while the rest are fine. Still with me? I’m guessing at least one person isn’t sure what an echidna is, so I’ll explain.
- Also called spiny anteaters, but not related to true anteaters.
- There is the short-beaked echidna, Eastern long-beaked echidna, Western long-beaked echidna, and Sir David’s Echidna aka Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna. (They don’t actually have beaks.)
- When threatened, they will try to bury themselves with their spines aimed up. If they can’t dig, they roll into a ball.
- Males have spurs that secrete a milky substance during breeding season. (This is important for later.)
- They have no teeth.
- They can feel vibrations through their nose.
- Both males and females have pouches.
- No, they don’t punch people when angry.
- Babies are called puggles.
So, what about the platypus?
- They are REAL animals that look like a combination of a duck, otter, and beaver.
- They aren’t green or spies.
- Males have venomous spurs on their hide legs. Venom isn’t deadly, but it hurts.
- Under ultraviolet light, their fur glows green and blue.
- A platypus bill has tens of thousands of sensory receptors to allow them to sense things underwater.
- Platypuses (and echidnas) don’t have stomachs, but gullets that put food directly into the intestine.
- Since they don’t have teeth, they scoop up gravel with food to grinding it down.
Let’s get to the videos.