Wednesday, April 3, 2013

D is for Duck Billed Platypus

The DBP is something of a WTF creature, if you know what I mean. The platypus lives in Eastern Australia and is quirky in the way you will only find in a country where folks throw bent sticks in the air so as they can come back to them, as a passtime.

The platypus is a mammal. It has a flat, streamlined body. But in some ways it's as if its creator decided to use little bits of other creatures and was having a laugh.



The platypus has a muzzle shaped like the bill of a duck, webbed feet, and a tail like that of a beaver. The bill may look like a duck's but it is not hard like that of a bird. It is actually an elongated muzzle covered with a leathery skin rather than a hard beak. The bill and feet of a platypus are dark black while the fur is usually a dark brown color. The platypus also possesses a spur on it hind legs that can be used to inject venom into another creature. In humans this can cause agonizing pain so platypets are not a great idea. It can be fatal to smaller creatures.

If you are not confused enough already this is one of only five mammals to lay eggs, rather than giving birth to its young live. The platypus also walks like a reptile. It's one mixed up bunny.

Platypuses also have a sense of electroreception: they locate their prey in part by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions. Platypuses have been heard to emit a low growl when disturbed and a range of other vocalisations have been reported in specimens in captivity, although the rumor that they can sing like the Bee Gees is just that. Much is muddled about these creatures. There's not even an accepted plural in relation to them; is it Platipuses or Platipi - who knows?

Despite, or maybe because of their quirkiness, these animals have featured heavily in popular culture. Syd the platypus was one of the three mascots chosen for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. There's a Green Day song "Platypus (I Hate You)", Robin Williams refers to them as proof that God has a sense of humor in Dogma, and I find it hard to escape from Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.

Useless Fact About the Duck Billed Platypus

They don't have passports. Once they are taken out of Oz they never do well. As of 2013, there are apparently no platypuses in captivity outside of Australia. Three unsuccessful attempts were made to bring the animals to the Bronx Zoo, in 1922, 1947, and 1958; of these, only two of the three animals introduced back in 1947 survived longer than 18 months. Fair dinkum mate - they wouldn't give a XXXX for any place outside Oz.

What Not To Say to a Platypus

Here's some bread ducky, ducky




25 comments:

  1. Yeah, definitely a WTF animal. I think I prefer 'Platipi' because it sounds like something you'd have at the pub with chips and gravy.

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    1. mmm think I ate that once on the Isle of Dogs lol..

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  2. I just love the fact that the males are poisonous. Even our cute, furry critters will kill you.

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    1. funny that the males are poisonous Kellie :) - thanks for the visit, on my next category the females are baaad..

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  3. These are definitely one of the strangest animals ever created. I did not know about those venomous spurs. Now I know not to try to pick one up, should I ever come across one.

    TaMara
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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    1. Yep TaMara - next time you see one in your garden leave well alone

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  4. Yay! You're doing the challenge too :)

    Over 500 hits to your site... Wow... me, jealous.... no way.....

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    1. I know a one off only 400 today - hey cool to see you are doing it too..

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  5. The platypus is definitely an interesting creature!

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    1. I know Tyrean - thanks for the visit..

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  6. This post brought back so many memories of middle school. You see, I used to know a boy who looked EXACTLY like a platypus. It was uncanny. And now I can't see one of the poor creatures without thinking of that kid.

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    1. aw TMI about the guy you dated in high school Jennifer :)

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  7. WTF is the best way to describe this animal, but they are kind of fun in their weirdness. Didn't know they had venom like that though, interesting.

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    1. they are weird and I was surprised to learn venomous Julie

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  8. Greeeeat, now I have 'Tie me kangaroo down sport' stuck in my head... 'Mind me platypus duck, Bill, mind me platypus duck! Don't let him go runnin amok, Bill, so mind me platypus duck...'

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    1. lol JoJo - those Aussies can get to one..

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  9. The platypus is quite the hodgepodge of characters, but I never knew that they could locate their prey using electric fields. That is remarkable.
    (:

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    1. all in all they are rather wacky and remarkable Elise ..

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  10. The word "platypets" made me laugh. :-)

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    1. I know right Daisy - could catch on for next Christmas eh :)

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    1. we do like a bit of WTF in our animals Patricia

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  12. too funny, just commented to you about Phineas and Ferb, then read this post

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    1. see you have them on the brain Diana - personally I seem to be suffering from Phineas and Ferb overload.

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  13. I actually just saw a family of duck-billed platypus in the wild in Tasmania which was awesome. I'm an Aussie who grew up in the outback, and I still get excited at these animals!!

    Enjoying your A to Z theme! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for X!!

    http://www.mydestinationunknown.com
    A to Z Participant (A to Z of Travel Bucket List Inspiration)

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