Common Name: Duckbilled Platypus

Scientific Name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Monotremata

Family: Ornithorhynchidae

Genius: Ornithorhynchus

Species: O. anatinus


The Platypus is probably the most intriguing and exotic organism in the Mammalian class. The members of the Mammalian class are commonly known as mammals. Mammals have very distinct characteristics, like fur and warm blood. There characteristics also include sexual reproduction, female milk production, and (in most cases) live birth (no eggs).


The platypus is in the family Ornithorhynchidae. The only known member of this family is the platypus. The things different between the family and the class are the same differences between the platypus itself and the class. The platypus's main and natural habitat is located mainly in Eastern Australia, in the forests on land, and in the water: rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. In rare cases, some have been spotted living in Southern Australia.


The platypus, like all other mammals, is covered in fur. The color can be dark or light brown. The platypus reproduces sexually. Gestation is known to begin in winter, and end in late spring, in which the female lays eggs. The platypus, along with the echidna, is one of the three only mammal species that lays eggs. The platypus, being only living in Australia, is not very ecologically important, but it does have, however small it may be, a relationship with humans based on ecology and/or economy.


The platypus has a spur on its heel. This defensive spur injects a venom that will kill small animals, but only causes agonizing pain to humans. The only positive importance of the platypus is its unique appearance. Thus, it is commonly used as an attraction at zoos across the globe. The platypus is the most unusual of all mammals. It is the only one with a duck like bill. Also, it is equipped with a flat, beaver-like tail. Along with webbed feet, brown fur, and its egg-laying, the platypus resembles a mixture between a duck and a beaver.

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Author: Nathan T.

Published: April 2006